The Nationals are in agreement with left-hander Dan Jennings on a minor league contract, MLBTR has confirmed. Roster Roundup first tweeted that the two sides were nearing a deal.
Jennings, a client of ISE Baseball, struggled through a poor spring with the Angels and was ultimately cut loose at the end of camp. The well-traveled lefty, however, has a history of quality results at the MLB level, most recently having tossed 64 1/3 innings of 3.22 ERA ball with the Brewers in 2018. He’ll turn 32 later this week.
Jennings has logged parts of seven seasons in the big leagues and never posted an ERA of 4.00 or higher. He doesn’t miss bats at a particularly high rate (7.1 K/9) or possess pristine control (3.9 BB/9), but he’s been a durable arm that can retire both left- and right-handed hitters throughout his MLB career (although righties gave him some trouble last season). It’s also difficult to elevate the ball against Jennings, as evidenced by his 58.5 percent ground-ball rate and 0.66 HR/9 mark in 244 innings dating back to 2015.
For the Nats, it’s only logical to tack on some veteran depth in the upper minors. No team in baseball has seen its bullpen post a worst ERA than the Nationals’ collective 7.75 mark in 2019, and while there’s been some degree of poor fortune attached to the extent of that eyesore, the bullpen’s 5.22 FIP, 5.34 xFIP and 4.55 SIERA all support the notion that the overall performance has been legitimately ugly. Beyond closer Sean Doolittle, the Nats’ other two lefties — Tony Sipp and Matt Grace — have each struggled so far.
Jennings isn’t the first veteran arm to pique the organization’s interest in recent days; Washignton reportedly had a near-agreement with Bud Norris fall through last week, and the team will surely continue to explore what’s left in free agency and monitor the waiver wire. At present, Doolittle and Kyle Barraclough are the only Nationals relievers who have an ERA under 5.68, and there’s particular concern surrounding Trevor Rosenthal, who has allowed 12 of the 15 men he’s faced to reach base (seven via walk plus a hit batsman) in his first season back from 2017 Tommy John surgery.
I hate what MLB is doing to it’s players. Good players without jobs. Strike is justified.
who are you referring to not having jobs? kimbrel? keuchel? well if you are then that’s not justified since their asking price is ridiculous. blame the agents for thinking they can oversell their clients.
There are literally only 750 jobs for players….somebody will be bbn left on the outside. It will either be the young guy, the old guy….or the guy who wants more money then his skills/age/market value.
Why? They were offered a qo they turned it down and asked for way to much instead. This is their own greedy agents faults
Open auditions for Washington bullpen roles. Bring glove. Somewhat semi-serious candidates need only apply.
Unreal that Jennings can’t find work
I guess you didn’t see him in the Spring. Any AAA arm could do as well as he did, at lower cost.
Given the Nats have played their entire schedule vs teams with winning records (PHI, NYM, PIT) and with the bullpen eyesore so far, and Trea Turner on the IL, it’s surprising that the Nats are still at .500.
Hopefully, they will make serious upgrades in the pen sooner than later.
Jennings strikes me as a reliever who gets outs without having any kind of impressive stuff. He will be fine. Journeyman pitcher for life.