Three days after the Nationals requested released waivers on Tony Sipp, the left-handed reliever has cleared and is now a free agent, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets. Washington will pay Sipp the remainder of his $1MM salary for this year and a $250K buyout for 2020.
The fact that the 36-year-old Sipp couldn’t stick in what has been a dicey Nationals bullpen looks damning. He logged a 4.71 ERA (albeit with a far more encouraging 3.55 FIP) and 7.71 K/9 against 3.86 BB/9 in 21 innings with the club this year after it signed him to a low-cost deal a couple weeks before the season.
Along with posting shoddy run prevention numbers, Sipp saw his velocity and strikeout rates tumble compared to where they were last year as an Astro. At the same time, though, Sipp limited same- and right-handed hitters to sub-.290 weighted on-base average marks as a Nat this season. Sipp’s also just a year removed from an exemplary showing in Houston, where he posted a 1.86 ERA/2.41 FIP with 9.78 K/9 and 3.03 BB/9 over 38 2/3 innings. Now, considering Sipp’s only in line to collect the league minimum on his next contract, some contender looking for an established late-game lefty may well take a flier on him in the coming weeks.