TODAY: Moore has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A, per an announcement from the club.
YESTERDAY: The Nationals placed first baseman/outfielder Tyler Moore on waivers yesterday, James Wagner of the Washington Post reports on Twitter. It’s not immediately clear if the club is seeking release or outright waivers, but Moore would not be able to refuse an assignment if outrighted, as he’s accrued less than five years of service and has never previously been removed from the 40-man.
Moore, who is out of options, had agreed to a $900K salary in his first season of arbitration eligibility.Washington will remain on he hook for about one quarter of that non-guaranteed amount (45 days of pay, or approximately $221K). Moore had seemed in line for a bench bat role, but obviously the organization decided to go with another alignment.
The Nationals have utilized Moore in a bench role in each of the previous four campaigns, though he’s never exceeded 200 plate appearances in a single year. All told, he owns a .228/.281/.401 slash with 24 home runs over 649 trips to the plate at the major league level.
Moore played his way into the organization’s plans with a strong 2012 effort, but has fallen shy of league average production in each year that’s followed. He has generally hit well in the upper minors and obviously has intriguing power, but he’s not a natural outfielder and doesn’t represent a platoon option at first base. With four solid outfield options on hand and a variety of potential bench pieces with greater versatility, it seems that Moore was the odd man out.
To some extent, the move represents a vote of confidence in the health of Ryan Zimmerman, as Moore would likely have stepped into a time share with Clint Robinson had Zimmerman been deemed unready for the start of the season. Of course, he might well still take such a role, if he clears waivers and is stashed at Triple-A. Any team considering a claim of Moore would need to take on his arbitration obligations, and Moore’s anemic spring batting line could make that unlikely.