The Nationals have taken a trio of players off the 40-man roster. Infielder Michael Chavis, outfielder Blake Rutherford and reliever Hobie Harris all cleared outright waivers, according to Mark Zuckerman of MASNsports.com (X link). Rutherford and Chavis have elected minor league free agency, as is their right as players who have been outrighted multiple times in their careers.
Chavis signed a minor league pact with the Nats last offseason. He made the Opening Day roster and ultimately in 48 games as a depth infielder. Over 96 plate appearances, the former highly-regarded Red Sox prospect hit .242/.281/.341 with a pair of home runs. He struck out at a 34.4% clip.
The 28-year-old has appeared in parts of five seasons at the highest level. He logged 129 games with the Pirates a year ago, his heaviest workload to date. Chavis is a career .238/.283/.401 hitter in a little under 1200 trips to the dish. He can play any of first, second or third base. He would have been eligible for arbitration had the Nats kept him on the roster. Now that he’s back on the open market, he could find minor league interest this winter.
Rutherford is a former Yankees first-round draftee who reached the big leagues this past season. The lefty-swinging outfielder had hit .336/.393/.571 in 74 games between Washington’s top two affiliates after singing an offseason minor league deal. The 26-year-old was selected to the majors for the first time in early August. He got into 16 games, hitting .171/.194/.171 across 36 plate appearances.
Harris is also a one-time Yankee draft choice who debuted with Washington in 2023. The 30-year-old righty pitched in 16 games, allowing 12 runs (11 earned) through 19 1/3 innings. He walked 13 while striking out nine. Harris had a 5.57 ERA while striking out 15.2% of batters faced across 32 1/3 frames at Triple-A Rochester. This is his first career outright, but he has sufficient minor league service time to become a free agent at the start of the offseason.
Washington needed to clear three 40-man spots within five days of the end of the World Series to clear space for players returning from the 60-day injured list. They’ll go into the winter with the roster at capacity.