Bill Ladson

Nationals release veterans Johnson, Burnett

Infielder Ryan reassigned to Minor League camp

Nationals release veterans Johnson, Burnett

WASHINGTON -- After setting their 25-man roster, the Nationals released outfielder Reed Johnson and left-hander Sean Burnett. Additionally, infielder Brendan Ryan has been reassigned to Minor League camp.

All three players were productive during Spring Training. Johnson and Ryan battled for the final spot on the bench, but it went to Chris Heisey, who showed that he could hit for power off the bench. Johnson batted .313, while Ryan hit .379.

It may not be long before Burnett finds a new home. Teams such as the Braves and Orioles have expressed an interest in the veteran left-hander.

Burnett's scoreless inning

Burnett had a solid spring, allowing no runs in 8 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts. He also showed that he's completely recovered from Tommy John surgery, but the Nationals will enter the regular season with Oliver Perez and Felipe Rivero as the lefties in the bullpen.

"I threw the ball well, and [the Nationals] gave me an opportunity," Burnett said. "That's all I can ask for here. ... They gave me an opportunity to showcase myself to them, and hopefully to other people, too."

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