The Washington Nationals released reliever Hunter Strickland on Saturday. The move comes less than two days after all official baseball activities were stopped and put on hold.
The @Nationals release Hunter Strickland as part of several roster moves this morning. He’d had a poor spring but still a bit of a surprise given they’d re-signed him in the winter and talked about him as a big piece of the bullpen this season.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) March 14, 2020
Strickland had signed a one-year, $1.6 million deal this offseason. The Nationals will owe him 45 days worth of termination pay, which is about $387,000, according to Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post.
The Nationals acquired Strickland at last year’s trade deadline. He went 2-1 with a 5.55 ERA in 28 games with two saves. In the playoffs, he allowed three home runs in two innings and had an 18.00 ERA. This spring, he pitched 6.2 innings and allowed nine runs.
In addition to Strickland, the Nationals also released David Hernandez, who was 0-1 and had a 19.29 ERA in four spring training starts.
Further, the Nationals optioned reliever Aaron Barrett, starters Kyle McGowin and Ben Braymer, and infielder Jake Noll to Triple-A Fresno and assigned Jacob Wilson, Brandon Snyder, Taylor Gushue, JB Shuck, Dakota Bacus, Bryan Bonnell and Wil Crowe to minor league camp.
Strickland’s departure leaves the Nationals with Kyle Finnegan, Ryne Harper, James Bourque, Austen Williams, and Javy Guerra as relievers. Guerra will probably take Strickland’s spot, but he would need to be added to the roster. With the start of the season delayed, the Nationals have time to decide who will fill Strickland’s spot.