Nats' LaRoche, Burnett headed to free agency

Washington Nationals first baseman Adam LaRoche and relief pitcher Sean Burnett each declined their mutual contract option for the 2013 season on Thursday, making both free agents.

LaRoche turned down a $10 million salary for next season, with Burnett opting out of a $3.5 million option.

Both players were key contributors to Washington's MLB-best 98-64 record and unexpected run to the National League East title in 2012.

LaRoche delivered a career season, establishing a personal best with 33 home runs and recording his second 100-RBI campaign while batting .271 in 154 games. The soon-to-be 33-year-old also earned his first-ever Gold Glove Award this past week.

In nine major league seasons, LaRoche has amassed 197 homers and 684 RBI along with a .268 average with Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Boston, Arizona and Washington.

Burnett is regarded as one of the league's better lefty specialists and held southpaws to a .211 average in 2012. The 30-year-old also posted a 1-2 record and a 2.38 earned run average with two saves over 70 appearances.

Since joining Washington midway through the 2009 season, Burnett has registered a 2.38 ERA and saved nine games over 245 games pitched.