Lefty Tony Sipp is likely headed back to the open market. The veteran reliever rejected an outright assignment and is now on release waivers, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (via Twitter). Having already cleared outright waivers, it seems a foregone conclusion that Sipp will reach free agency.
Sipp was dropped from the Nationals’ 40-man roster recently as the team completed a reshaping of its relief corps. The southpaw will receive the remainder of his $1MM guaranteed salary, along with a $250K buyout on a 2020 mutual option, regardless of where he ends up landing next.
There’s little doubt that the southpaw specialist will draw interest from other organizations, though it’s hardly clear whether any will woo him with promises of an immediate MLB job. He’ll be available for just the league-minimum rate of pay, with any earnings partially offsetting the Nats’ remaining obligations.
The 36-year-old Sipp may be a tough player to fit on a 25-man roster right now, but he’d surely be welcome once rosters expand. While he didn’t fare well in D.C. by measure of results (4.71 ERA) or Statcast measures (.284 wOBA-against vs. .340 xwOBA-against), Sipp was still capable of a 12.7% swinging-strike rate.