This morning I was telling someone that it wouldn’t surprise me if the Nats signed Mike MacDougal to a minor league contract after his release by the Marlins.
By the afternoon, that’s just what they’d done.
Mike led all major league relievers in save percentage last year, 20 out of 21. Based on that stat - and being arbitration eligible - he might’ve received upwards of $3-4 mlllion from an arbitrator. The Nats non-tendered him, making him a free agent, and he found that no one was beating down his door.
He finally signed a minor league deal with Florida, but had command issues with the Marlins, and was let go over the weekend. Whether his agent or Mike Rizzo initiated contact, the bottom line is, he’s back in the organization, with an invite to big league camp.
There’s not a lot of time left in spring training, and it won’t be a big shock if Mike is re-assigned to Syracuse. But, hey, he started slowly last year, and despite some harrowing moments - oh, those bases on balls! - he was a huge improvement over Joel Hanrahan.
Let me tell you, Mike MacDougal is a quality human being. I know, I know, that alone doesn’t get anybody out, but he’s got a great work ethic - handed down from his dad, Tom, a former minor league fireballer and Senators’ batboy - and it won’t surprise anyone if he’s back in the big leagues in a few weeks. With a moving fastball that averages, repeat, averages in the mid-90’s, Mike’s capable of occasional brilliance.
He’s also capable of walking the first guy he faces. If he had a changeup he could throw for strikes, he’d be that much more effective.
But, it’s a no-risk situation for the ballclub, and I wish him well.