The Nationals are signing right-hander Daniel Mengden to a minor league deal, according to FanSided’s Robert Murray (via Twitter). Mengden had been pitching in the Royals’ farm system on another minors contract signed at the start of the season, but Kansas City released him from that deal earlier this week.
Mengden now moves onto the fifth different organization (four in MLB, one in the KBO League) of a pro career that began as a fourth-round draft pick for the Astros in 2014. The righty is best known for his five years with the Athletics from 2016-20, as Mengden posted a 4.64 ERA over 302 2/3 innings during his Oakland tenure, mostly working as a starting pitcher. An injury-plagued 2020 campaign led the A’s to outright Mengden following the 2020 season, and he then went overseas to South Korea to pitch for the Kia Tigers.
Returning to MLB in 2022, Mengden signed a minors deal with the Royals and appeared in five games (seven IP) at the big league level. That represents his last stint in the Show, as he hasn’t pitched well or even often with Triple-A Omaha this season. Starting three of his six games for Omaha, Mengden has a 7.36 ERA over 14 2/3 innings, with a lackluster 20% strikeout rate and 11.4% strikeout rate.
Washington might view the 30-year-old Mengden purely as rotation depth or as a bullpen candidate who can be called upon to soak up innings as a long reliever. At the cost of a minors league deal, there’s no risk for the Nationals in seeing what Mengden can provide, whether at the Triple-A level or for spot duty in the majors.