The transaction removes Moore from the club’s 40-man roster, though it does keep him in the organization. He also continues to earn his $900,000 major league salary.
Moore, 29, has spent parts of the last four seasons playing for the Nationals, appearing in 277 total big league games. He also shuttled back and forth between Washington and Syracuse on a regular basis, leaving him out of options this spring.
Thus, the only way the Nationals could demote him to the minors was to first place him on waivers, giving every other club in baseball a chance to claim him and his guaranteed salary. When none did during a 48-hour window, the Nats were able to outright him to Syracuse and clear a spot on their 40-man roster in the process.
A highly touted prospect when he made his major league debut in 2012, Moore enjoyed a successful rookie season, posting an .840 OPS and delivering a key, RBI pinch-hit to lead the Nationals to victory in Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS against the Cardinals.
But Moore never was able to sustain that success in future seasons. He hit a combined .216 with a .626 OPS in 202 games the last three years. As a pinch-hitter since 2013, he hit a minuscule .090 (7-for-78) with five walks and 33 strikeouts.
Moore continued to struggle this spring, with only four hits in 31 at-bats (though two of them were home runs).
“I’ve tried to give Tyler every opportunity,” new manager Dusty Baker said this afternoon before the roster move was announced. “I think him and (Chris) Heisey and probably (Clint) Robinson and (Michael A.) Taylor have more at-bats than anybody this spring. So I’ve tried to give him an opportunity. All I can do is give him an opportunity. I know he’s a very popular guy on this team, a very popular guy in the city. Like I said, it’s hard for me to judge anything other than what I’ve seen. Because he has struggled. But also at the same time, I’ve got to look at his track record.”