Nats Bullpen: Nationals Release Veteran Lefty Michael Gonzalez

The Washington Nationals announced this morning that they were releasing 35-year-old left-hander reliever Michael Gonzalez, removing one option for the remaining spot in the Nats' bullpen. Gonzalez signed on March 4th, but didn't stay too long...

Michael Gonzalez's latest run with the Washington Nationals didn't last long. Signed on March 4th to give the Nats another left-handed bullpen option, Gonzalez was released this morning:

Gonzalez, 35, pitched for the Nats in 2012, finishing the year at +0.6 fWAR, and putting up a 3.03 ERA, 2.98 FIP, 16 walks (4.04 BB/9) and 39 Ks (9.84 K/9) in 35 2/3 IP. He signed a 1-year/$2.25M deal with Milwaukee for 2013, finishing the season at -0.6 fWAR and posting a 4.68 ERA and a 4.87 FIP, with 25 walks (4.50 BB/9) and 60 Ks (10.80 K/9) in 50 IP for the Brewers.

Matt Williams explained the signing as a move to give the team options, explaining after they brought Gonzalez to camp that it didn't reflect unhappiness with the in-house options. "It's not the lack of being satisfied with the guys that we have in camp," Williams said. "But [Gonzalez] is a guy that comes with a reputation of being able to do that role and [he was] available.

The Nationals' decision to move Ross Detwiler into a bullpen role gave them two left-handers in the bullpen they talked about wanting after admitting that trying to go with just one at the start of the 2013 campaign was a mistake in hindsight.

Nats' skipper Matt Williams told reporters on Monday that he would consider possibly keeping three lefties in the pen at the start of the season since they will be facing what he said were left-hand heavy lineups.

Today's move and yesterday's decision to reassign Blake Treinen leave the Nationals with right-handers Aaron Barrett and Ryan Mattheus, lefty Xavier Cedeno and possibly Tanner Roark as options for the final spot in the bullpen if he loses out in the battle for the fifth spot in the Nats' rotation.

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