WASHINGTON -- Center fielder Denard Span is staying with the Washington Nationals, who exercised their $9 million option for 2015 on his contract Thursday, while declining options on first baseman Adam LaRoche and reliever Rafael Soriano.
Span, Washington's leadoff hitter, batted .302 with 31 steals and tied for first in the NL with a Nationals' record 184 hits. He is a Gold Glove Award finalist.
LaRoche's deal included a $15 million mutual optional for next season, but Washington instead chose to pay him a $2 million buyout. Soriano's contract included a $14 million club option for 2015. They now become free agents.
The 34-year-old LaRoche led the NL East champion Nationals with 26 homers and 92 RBIs this season, his fourth with the club. He went 1 for 18 in an NL Division Series loss to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.
Soriano began this season as the closer and converted 22 of 24 save opportunities with a 0.97 ERA before the All-Star break. After that, though, he blew five of 15 save chances, and Drew Storen took over the ninth-inning role in September.