WEDNESDAY: Jennings has elected to become a free agent, the Nationals announced.
MONDAY: The Nationals announced that they’ve claimed right-hander Javy Guerra off waivers from the Blue Jays and designated veteran lefty Dan Jennings for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster. Toronto had designated Guerra for assignment last week.
Guerra, 33, appeared in 11 games with the Jays to open the season and has turned in 14 innings of 3.86 ERA ball with a 15-to-5 K/BB ratio and a 27 percent ground-ball rate. It’s a solid showing, though it comes on the heels of a 5.55 ERA in 35 2/3 frames with the Marlins last season. The Nationals, however, need bullpen help perhaps more than any club in the game and will hope that Guerra can maintain his early success from Toronto and stabilize a relief corps that has been the worst in MLB in terms of ERA (6.60) and xFIP (5.15) as well as 25th in FIP (5.03).
Washington brought the 32-year-old Jennings aboard last month under similar circumstances, hoping that he could help to smooth things over. That didn’t prove to be the case, however, as he was tagged for seven runs on eight hits and seven walks with nine strikeouts in just 4 2/3 innings. A team in less dire circumstances might’ve given Jennings a bit more leash given his strong track record, but the Nats are eight games under .500 and eight games back in the NL East.