The Nationals released right-hander Jose Urena, according to his MLB.com profile page. Urena has been part of the Nats organization since May, when he inked a minor league contract after being released by the Rockies.
Things haven’t gone smoothly for Urena at either the major or minor league levels in 2023. He posted a 9.82 ERA with nine homers allowed over 18 1/3 innings for the Rockies, before being released at the end of April. Urena followed up those struggles with a 6.31 ERA in 67 frames for the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate, with 16 more long balls allowed. A low-strikeout grounder specialist throughout his career, Urena has had some home-run issues in the past, but those problems have become a full-blown crisis this season.
Colorado still owes Urena the balance of his 2023 salary — roughly $950K left of a $3MM guarantee, and there is a $500K buyout of his 2024 club option. The Nationals ended up not having to pay Urena even a prorated MLB minimum salary, as he never made Washington’s big league roster.
Rough 2023 numbers aside, there’s a chance Urena might still catch on elsewhere on a minors deal, as teams are always looking for starting pitching depth. The right-hander could also fill a roster hole left as clubs call up pitching prospects to the Show. However, with about a month left in the minor league season, teams also simply might prefer to give that remaining playing time to their future prospects, rather than a 31-year-old who hasn’t been effective at the MLB level (5.61 ERA in his last 324 innings) for a few years now.