Trea Turner, Nationals avoid arbitration with $7.45M deal for 2020

WASHINGTON -- Shortstop Trea Turner and the Washington Nationals agreed to a $7.45 million, one-year contract Friday, as the World Series champions avoided arbitration by settling with all of their eligible players.

Turner joined lefty reliever Roenis Elias, who got a $1,975,000 deal, and right-handed starter Joe Ross ($1.5 million) in agreeing to 2020 contracts on the day of the deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures.

Outfielder Michael A. Taylor and Washington settled Thursday on a $3,325,000 salary for next season.

The 26-year-old Turner was a key part of Washington's success last season, despite being hampered by a broken right index finger.

Often batting leadoff, Turner hit .298 with 19 homers, 57 RBI, 96 runs, 37 doubles and 35 steals in 122 games. He's heading into his sixth major league season, all with Washington; he was a first-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres, then acquired by the Nationals in a trade.

A year ago, Turner and the Nationals avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3,725,000 contract for 2019.

Elias, a 31-year-old Cuban, was acquired by Washington from the Seattle Mariners in a midseason attempt to improve the NL's worst bullpen, but things didn't quite work out. He injured his hamstring while running to first base on an at-bat during his debut with the Nationals. That landed him on the injured list; the reliever only ended up making three other appearances with Washington after returning before he hurt his leg again and returned to the IL, ending his season in early September.

He was 0-0 with a 9.00 ERA in three innings for the Nationals, 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 14 saves for Seattle in 2019. Elias made $910,000 last season.

Ross, 26, bounced around in 2019, spending time in the bullpen and the rotation, in the minors and the majors. He went 4-4 with a 5.48 ERA in 27 appearances, including nine starts, for the Nationals.

The biggest game of the year for Ross came in October: He was an emergency fill-in as Washington's starting pitcher in Game 5 of the World Series, when Max Scherzer came down with a neck issue and was scratched.

In five years in the majors, all with Washington, Ross is 21-19 with a 4.29 ERA. He has made 57 starts and 21 relief appearances. Ross avoided arbitration a year ago by agreeing to a $1 million, one-year contract for 2019.

The two other Nationals players who agreed to contracts without going to arbitration were shortstop Wilmer Difo and Taylor.