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Washington Nationals pick up Gio Gonzalez’s 2017 option, decline club option on Yusmeiro Petit

Washington’s Nationals picked up the $12M club option on Gio Gonzalez for 2017, but declined the club option for Yusmeiro Petit.

Washington Nationals v Philadelphia Phillies

Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes wrote yesterday that someone in Gio Gonzalez’s “camp” told her that the Washington Nationals picking up the $12M club option for the left-hander in 2017 was, “‘a matter of course,’ a fait accompli — procedural, more than anything.”

This afternoon, Jon Heyman reported that he too heard the Nationals would pick up Gonzalez’s option:

The Nationals made the announcement official shortly after Heyman’s tweet, and added a note on an option for veteran reliever Yusmeiro Petit:

Gonzalez’s option was included in the 5-year/$42M extension he signed with the Nationals shortly after they acquired the southpaw from the Oakland A’s in late December of 2011.

The deal also includes a $12M option for 2018 if Gonzalez is able to throw 180 innings in 2017. Gonzalez was (11-11) in 32 starts in 2016, with a 4.57 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 59 walks (2.99 BB/9), 171 Ks (8.68 K/9) and a .257/.326/.404 line against in 177 1⁄3 IP, finishing the season at 2.9 fWAR.

Yusmeiro Petit, 31, signed a 1-year/$3M deal with the Nationals last December. The one-year deal included a club option for 2017 at $3M or a $500,000 buyout.

Petit is coming off a -0.2 fWAR 2016 campaign which saw him go (3-5) in 36 appearances (one a starter) with a 4.50 ERA, a 4.81 FIP, 15 walks (2.18 BB/9) and 49 Ks (7.11 K/9) in 62 IP, over which opposing hitters had a .272/.318/.469.

Petit struggled and was used sparingly in the second-half, putting up a 9.35 ERA, a 5.92 FIP and a .342/.388/.633 line against in 17 13 IP.

Next up for the Nationals’ decision-makers: Do they make a qualifying offer (1-year/$17.2M) to catcher Wilson Ramos, who’s recovering from the second surgery on his right knee.