Aaron Barrett started the season with a goal of returning to the major leagues by September after Tommy John surgery.
“My goal in mind is I'm going to work my tail off to get back in the big leagues next year,” Barrett told reporters.
“I'm going to do everything I can in my power to be back and I hope it's some time in September because it's right at that year point.
"I'm going to do everything I can to get back next year and I plan to come back stronger than ever."
Barrett continued to make progress, but in July, a week or so away from a rehab assignment according to what he would later told reporters, Barrett suffered a fractured right elbow while throwing off a mound in Viera, Florida.
Dr. James Andrews performed the second surgery in a year on Barrett’s right elbow, setting his potential return to the majors back yet again, but the 28-year-old right-hander was in good spirits when he talked to reporters at Nationals Park in August.
“Don’t have an exact timetable, just because of the rarity of the injury,” Barrett said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Chelsea Janes:
“The only thing really I can say is I’ve been making amazing progress, and I’m definitely ahead of the curve as far as my rehab goes. … They expect 100-percent recovery.”
Earlier this week, according to multiple reports, the Nationals placed Barrett on waivers:
The Nationals have placed reliever Aaron Barrett on waivers, according to people familiar with the situation: https://t.co/E7TG0a9KDy— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) October 24, 2016
This afternoon the team announced that Barrett cleared waivers and was assigned outright to Triple-A Syracuse, but instead opted for free agency.
According to the #Nationals, RHP Aaron Barrett, who was placed on waivers, then assigned outright to Triple-A, has elected for free agency.— federalbaseball (@federalbaseball) October 26, 2016
In 90 appearances in the majors for the Nationals in 2014-15, the 2010 9th Round pick put up a 3.47 ERA, a 2.43 FIP, 27 walks (3.47 BB/9) and 84 Ks (10.80 K/9) in 70 IP.