Ross Detwiler started the 2014 campaign competing for a role in the Washington Nationals' rotation, battling for the fifth spot behind Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Doug Fister, a top four which the left-hander said last winter could, "go up against any rotation, anywhere."
After an injury-shortened 2013 season which saw him miss time with first an oblique and then a disc issue which ultimately ended his season, the 2007 1st Round pick was determined to prove his durability.
His goal, he said at NatsFest last winter, was to "throw a full season."
Detwiler, 28, didn't make the rotation, but he did make it through the season as part of the Nats' bullpen, finishing the year with a 4.00 ERA, a 4.16 FIP, 21 walks (3.00 BB/9) and 39 Ks (5.57 K/9) in 47 games and 63 IP.
He was not placed on the the postseason roster for the NLDS, however, which Detwiler told the Washington Post's James Wagner this week left him "extremely disappointed."
General Manager Mike Rizzo talked to the WaPost writer about Detwiler filling a similar role in Washington's 'pen in 2015 if the Nats' starters are back and healthy and said he saw the southpaw being "... a valuable piece in the bullpen."
Wagner wrote that there were several options for the Nationals with Detwiler.
They could potentially trade the lefty, and according to "a person familiar with the situation, Detwiler’s camp has suggested to the Nationals that they pursue that avenue if possible."
Detwiler himself said that after he was moved to the 'pen, and passed over for other starters [like Taylor Jordan and Tanner Roark] when a need developed in Spring Training with Doug Fister injured, he didn't, "...feel [the Nationals] have confidence so I don’t feel like I’m going to be in any significant role whatsoever."
So how long before Detwiler is traded to the Oakland A's?
Detwiler is arbitration-eligible for the last time this winter, assuming he doesn't get non-tendered next week and he is projected to get a raise to around $3.3M in 2015 after he avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3M deal last January.
Will Detwiler still be with the Nationals when the 2015 season starts?