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LaRoche, Burnett to become free agents

  |   Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche and pitcher Sean Burnett turned down contact options Thursday and will become free agents.

LaRoche would have been paid $10 million next season if he'd taken the option while Burnett was up for a $3.5 million payday.

Both were key players in the Nationals' run to a major-league best 98-64 record and National League East title last season. Washington was defeated by the St. Louis Cardinals in an NL Division series.

LaRoche, who turns 33 Tuesday, hit a personal best 33 home runs and had a second consecutive 100-RBI season. He hit .274 in 154 games and this week was awarded his first Gold Glove for his play at first.

Burnett, 30, was 1-2 with a 2.38 ERA in 70 appearances last season, when he was regarded as one of the best left-handed relievers in baseball.

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