The Nationals added to their bullpen depth earlier this week, signing right-hander Nash Walters to a minor league deal (h/t to TalkNats). Walters has been assigned to club’s Double-A affiliate in Harrisburg.
Originally drafted in the third round of the 2015 draft by the Brewers, Walters was initially slowed in his development by Tommy John surgery in 2017 and 2020’s cancelled minor league season. He made his full-season debut in 2021 and quickly advanced through the minor leagues, reaching Triple-A with the Brewers in 2022. Walters was shipped to Anaheim in a cash deal with the Angels that September and made his big league debut in the club’s final game of 2022 against the A’s. He recorded a single out while allowing a hit and a walk in his big league debut.
Walters was non-tendered by the club last November, and while he initially re-signed on a minor league deal the following month, the Angels released him just before Opening Day. That led Walters to sign on with the White Sox on a minor league deal towards the end of April. He struggled considerably for Chicago in the minors, with a brutal 9.64 ERA in 28 innings of work. While Walters was struggling badly in terms of run prevention results, his strong 31.9% strikeout rate seemingly caught the interest of Nationals after the White Sox released him earlier this month.
Now in his fourth organization of the past calendar year, Walters will look to get his run prevention numbers in line with his tantalizing stuff at the Double-A level for the Nationals. If he manages to do so, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Walters contribute at the big league level later this season, particularly if the coming trade deadline on August 1 opens up space in the Nationals’ bullpen.