Nationals outfielder Donovan Casey has gone unclaimed on waivers, tweets Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post. He’s been assigned outright to Triple-A Rochester. Having never been outrighted before in his career, Casey doesn’t have the right to elect free agency.
Casey was one of four players whom the Nats acquired from the Dodgers in last summer’s Max Scherzer/Trea Turner blockbuster. He was generally regarded as the final piece of that deal, but he carried a .296/.362/.462 line at Double-A at the time of the trade. He mashed over 12 games at that level in the Washington system as well, but he’s not performed well since getting bumped up to the top minor league level. Casey hit just .179/.245/.291 with a massive 38.8% strikeout rate in 38 Triple-A contests last year.
Despite the rough showing in Rochester, Casey earned a spot on the Washington 40-man roster this past offseason. He had a brief appearance on the big league roster this April but didn’t get into a game, and he’s spent the rest of the year on optional assignment back to Rochester. He’s had another tough season with the Red Wings, hitting .219/.283/.364 with a 32.5% strikeout percentage and just a 6.7% walk rate across 252 trips to the plate.
Washington bumped Casey from the 40-man roster when they claimed reliever Jake McGee from the Brewers on Tuesday. The 26-year-old will stick in the organization after making it through waivers and try to earn his way back onto the 40-man with a strong showing over the final couple months of the year.