Tyler Moore and the Washington Nationals avoided arbitration when he signed a 1-year/$900K deal earlier this winter, after a .203/.250/.364, 12 double, six home run, -0.9 fWAR campaign in the nation's capital in which he played in 97 games and made career-high 200 plate appearances.
He was reportedly placed on waivers yesterday, at least according to what Washington Post writer James Wagner hears from his sources.
Moore, 29, stuck on the major league roster all season in 2015 after entering Spring Training with no options, though he did make one suspiciously convenient/well-timed trip to the disabled list.
Through four major league seasons, the 2008 Nationals' 16th Round pick, who debuted in the majors in 2012 and put together his best year thus far that season -- posting a .263/.327/.513 line with nine doubles and 10 home runs in 75 games and 171 PAs for the NL East division winning Nats -- has put up a combined .228/.281/.401 line with 32 doubles and 24 HRs in 649 career PAs.
Moore has struggled in a bench role since his first major league season, however. He talked this winter about trying to succeed in a difficult role.
"I think it's a mental thing," he said. "I feel like I have the physical ability and have the mental ability to just have the experience to kind of do it.
"It's not an easy job at all and it's sometimes very frustrating because you feel like you can contribute so much more than what you actually do."
His plan, he explained, was to come to Spring Training and earn the role again.
"Just got to come in and have a really good Spring Training to come in and make the team and show them that I can play. That's pretty much the bottom line."
Through 18 games this Spring, Moore was 4 for 31 (.129/.206/.355) with a double, two home runs, three walks and six Ks.
In a December 2014 chat with readers, veteran Washington Post columnist Thomas Boswell wrote that there are some who think Moore might be better off catching on somewhere else, where he would have a chance to play every day and see what he could do with a full season's worth of at bats.
"Moore's teammates can't wait for the day that he is free to leave and try to find a full time job somewhere," Boswell wrote, "because several of them think he'll be a Josh Willingham clone for several very good years."
With Clint Robinson a left-handed backup option at first and a number of outfielders and right-handed bats in camp with the Nationals this Spring, the decision, if the Nats have indeed placed Moore on waivers, isn't too much of a surprise. Will he finally get another opportunity somewhere else after having spent his entire career in the Nationals' organization to this point? How long before he's an Oakland A?
Nats placed 1B-OF Tyler Moore on waivers yesterday, per sources. Moore, hitting .129 this spring, is out of minor league options.— James Wagner (@JamesWagnerWP) March 24, 2016