Bill Ladson

Nationals avoid arbitration with quartet

Stammen, Espinosa, Lobaton and Ramos agree to one-year contracts

Nationals avoid arbitration with quartet

WASHINGTON -- Nationals right-hander Craig Stammen, second baseman Danny Espinosa and catcher Jose Lobaton avoided salary arbitration Thursday. Stammen signed a one-year deal worth $2.25 million, a source confirmed to, while Espinosa signed for $1.8 million and Lobaton for $1.2 million, according to the Washington Post.

Catcher Wilson Ramos also agreed on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $3.55 million.

Stammen, 30, is coming off a season in which he had a 3.84 ERA in 49 relief appearances for Washington. He could be used as a long reliever or in the late innings.

Espinosa, 27, has struggled mightily at the plate the last two years, but he is an excellent defender at second base. The team is thinking about making Espinosa, a switch-hitter, a right-handed batter exclusively. In 2014, he hit .301 from the right side of the plate, .183 from the left.

Lobaton, 30, was a valuable backup catcher last season. He had a great rapport with Stephen Strasburg and Doug Fister in particular. Nationals pitchers had a 2.86 ERA when Lobaton was behind the plate.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.