Nationals' Sean Burnett to decline 2013 contract option

Dilip Vishwanat

Burnett had a $3.5 million mutual option with the Nats for 2013.

Washington Nationals reliever Sean Burnett is expected to decline his $3.5 million option for the 2013 season, forfeiting his $250k buyout in the process, reports Bill Ladson of MLB.com:

Left-hander Sean Burnett often said he would like to return to the Nationals for the 2013 season, but it was learned on Monday afternoon that he most likely will not pick up his option, which would make him a free agent.

According to Ladson's source, Burnett's primary interest is in returning to the Nationals next season, but only on a multi-year deal. The 30-year-old left-hander has pitched well in relief for the Nats over the last four seasons, and put together his best year yet in 2012. In seventy appearances spanning fify-six and two-thirds innings on the year, Burnett amassed a 2.38 ERA and struck out 9.1 batters per nine.

Burnett had bone chips removed from his elbow last week, which could complicate negotiations some, but he is expected to be fully healthy by Spring Training.

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