WASHINGTON -- Eight Nationals players -- outfielders Rick Ankiel, Jonny Gomes and Laynce Nix, catcher Ivan Rodriguez, infielder Alex Cora, and pitchers Todd Coffey, Livan Hernandez and Chien-Ming Wang -- became free agents on Sunday.
The Nationals have exclusive negotiating rights with those eight players until Thursday at 12:01 a.m. ET. After that, other teams can negotiate with those free agents.
Of the free-agent pitchers, Wang appears to be the most likely to re-sign with the Nationals. The two sides continue to talk, but they are not close to a deal. Wang had a nice comeback season, going 4-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 11 starts. He had missed almost two years of action because of a right shoulder injury.
Of the position players, Ankiel is the most likely to return to the club. If he does, it will be as a fourth outfielder. Ankiel batted .239 with nine home runs and 37 RBIs in 122 games and provided solid defense in center field.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com 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.