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LaRoche, Burnett decline options, enter free agency

LaRoche, Burnett decline options, enter free agency

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LaRoche, Burnett decline options, enter free agency
WASHINGTON -- Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche and left-hander Sean Burnett declined their respective mutual options and have become free agents, general manager Mike Rizzo said in a text message on Thursday.

Both LaRoche and Burnett would like to return to the Nats, but they want multiyear deals. LaRoche's option was worth $10 million, while Burnett had a $3.5 million option.

LaRoche is coming off one of his best seasons, hitting .271 with 33 home runs and 100 RBIs. He also won his first Gold Glove Award on Tuesday.

LaRoche said Wednesday that he hasn't talked to the Nationals in about a week and the two parties were at the beginning stages of contract negotiations.

As for Burnett, he is coming off one of his best seasons in the big leagues, appearing in 70 games and posting a 2.38 ERA in a setup role. In his three-plus seasons in Washington, Burnett has a 2.81 ERA in 245 games, with nine saves.

Last month, Burnett had two bone chips removed from his left elbow, but he is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

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.

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