Gott designated for assignment to clear spot for Hellickson

The Nationals have designated reliever Trevor Gott for assignment, clearing a spot on their 40-man roster for Jeremy Hellickson, whose signing was officially announced by the club.

Hellickson agreed earlier this week to terms on a one-year, $1.3 million contract that also includes up to $4 million in incentives. The deal was contingent on the right-hander passing a physical, which he has now done, and on the Nationals clearing a roster spot for him.

They chose to make Gott the odd man out, a disappointing development for a young reliever who was touted as a potential long-term answer at the back end of the bullpen when he was acquired from the Angels in 2015.

Gott-Throws-White-Sidebar.jpgGott, 26, came to the Nationals in exchange for veteran infielder Yunel Escobar, a hard-throwing right-hander who would be under club control for five more seasons. He posted a 1.50 ERA in a nine-appearance cameo in 2016, but never broke through as a consistently reliable bullpen weapon.

Gott made 20 appearances last season, compiling a 5.68 ERA while allowing 31 batters to reach base in only 19 innings. Despite making the opening day roster and then spending the year shuttling back and forth between Washington and Triple-A Syracuse, he wasn’t among the team’s September call-ups, perhaps foreshadowing his diminished standing within the organization.

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