The Nationals announced that right-hander Andrés Machado has cleared outright waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Rochester. He was designated for assignment last week when the club signed outfielder Corey Dickerson.
Machado, 30 in April, tossed 59 1/3 innings for the Nats last year with a 3.34 ERA. Despite those solid results, there were reasons for the Nats to be bearish. Machado’s 17.6% strikeout rate and 10% walk rate were both worse than league average, with a .267 batting average on balls in play helping him keep runs off the board. The opposite was true in the minors, as a .375 BABIP led to a 5.82 ERA in 17 Triple-A innings.
Beyond the work on the mound, Machado is also now out of options. The Nats optioned him seven times over the past couple of seasons, clearly valuing his ability to move on and off the roster as needed. That was no longer going to be possible this year, giving him a little less hold on a spot at the fringe of the roster.
Machado will now stick in the organization and serve as depth but without occupying a roster spot. Players with more than three years of MLB service time can reject an outright assignment and elect free agency, but Machado is still shy of the two-year mark.