Nats release Romero after reported second DWI arrest

Seth Romero’s tumultuous five years with the Nationals came to an unceremonious end this evening when the organization requested unconditional release waivers on the left-hander, one day after he reportedly was arrested for a DWI in his home state of Texas for the second time in 2022.

Romero, 26, immediately comes off the Nationals’ 40-man roster, opening a spot for them to protect another minor leaguer subject to this year’s Rule 5 draft one day before Major League Baseball requires all teams to make such transactions. The Nats now have two openings on the 40-man roster, with the possibility of more to come before 6 p.m. Tuesday.

A first-round pick in the 2017 draft, Romero’s career has been an unquestionable bust, both because of injuries he sustained on the field and his actions off it. The Nationals knew they were taking a risk using the 25th overall pick on the talented-but-troubled lefty, who had been suspended multiple times at the University of Houston and ultimately was kicked off the team. They nonetheless gave him an above-slot $2.8 million signing bonus.

Romero did little to restore his reputation at the outset of his professional career, getting sent home from his first spring training camp for violating team policy. He missed the entire 2019 season following Tommy John surgery on his elbow, returned to make his major league debut late in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season but appeared in only three games before going back on the injured list after breaking his non-pitching hand upon slipping on a stairway.

Romero never returned to the big leagues after that, spending the 2021 and 2022 seasons bouncing between minor league affiliates and the 60-day IL with a calf strain. All told, he pitched only 100 1/3 professional innings for the Nationals, all but 2 2/3 of those in the minors, with only one appearance above Double-A.

The Washington Post reported Romero was arrested for DWI in Texas in January, then reported he was arrested again for the same crime in addition to possession of a controlled substance Sunday.

Decision time for Rule 5 draft protection
Looking at the Nats' organizational depth chart
 

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