Nationals Request Release Waivers On Mauro Gomez

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Mauro Gomez, we hardly knew ye. The hard-hitting 1B/3B claimed off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays by the Washington Nationals in September is on his way to Japan to play for the Hanshin Tigers.

Daily Sports' report on November 5th, which was summarized at Yakubaka.com, revealed that the Hanshin Tigers of Nippon Professional Baseball and Washington Nationals were in the process of negotiating some sort of deal that would send 29-year-old 1B/3B from the Nats' 40-Man roster to Japan:

"According to Daily Sports, discussions between the Tigers and the Washington Nationals for Mauro Gomez are going well. Assuming no bumps in negotiations, an announcement could be made some time later this month."

The Nationals claimed Gomez off waivers from the Toronto Blue Jays in early September after a 2013 campaign in which he had a .249/.322/.521 line with 21 doubles and 29 HRs in 110 games and 453 PAs, tying Nats' prospect Zach Walters for the Triple-A International League lead in home runs.

A report from Yakubaka.com last week, citing a report from Nikkan Sports discussed what position Gomez would be playing when he joined the Tigers. A Sanspo report cited in that article said to expect an announcement soon:

"A team official told reporters on Wednesday that the Tigers were close to finalizing a deal for Gomez and that the only thing left was for the team to work out the final remaining details with the Washington Nationals."

In a press release from the team this afternoon, the Nats announced that they had "requested release waivers" on Gomez, "who plans to play the 2014 season in Japan."

A Sponichi article translated at Yakubaka.com today says that the Hanshin Tigers see Gomez as a potential difference-maker:

"The Tigers are thinking about offering Mauro Gomez the number forty-four as a symbol of their hope that he can become a player like Randy Bass or Cecil Fielder. They both wore the number when they played for Hanshin."

In 37 games in the majors with the Boston Red Sox in 2012, Gomez was 28 for 102 (.275/.324/.422) with five doubles, two triples and two home runs. In 10 minor league seasons, the Bani, Peravia Domincan Repulic-born Gomez has a combined .278/.333/.488 line with 159 HRs in 922 games.

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