The Nationals claimed lefty reliever Xavier Cedeno off waivers from the Astros, according to a tweet from the team. They've optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse. Cedeno had been designated for assignment by the Astros on Thursday. He nearly made it through unclaimed, as the Nationals were the last team in the waiver order.
Cedeno, 26, was scored upon in four of his five appearances this year. In 2012, he posted a 3.77 ERA, 10.5 K/9, 4.1 BB/9, 0.87 HR/9, and 50.0% groundball rate in 31 relief innings, tossing another 27 2/3 innings at Triple-A. A native of Puerto Rico, Cedeno was drafted by the Rockies in the 31st round in 2004. They released him in March 2010, and he signed with the Astros as a free agent in December of that year. Cedeno made seven appearances in the World Baseball Classic this year for Puerto Rico.
The Nationals only have one other left-handed reliever on their 40-man roster: Zach Duke.