Guerra, Freeman clear waivers, become free agents

Two more members of the Nationals’ 2020 bullpen are now free agents after right-hander Javy Guerra and lefty Sam Freeman cleared outright waivers, the club announced today.

Guerra and Freeman, who both ended the season on the injured list, are the latest Nats players to formally come off the 40-man roster, which now stands at 36. Right-handers Aaron Barrett, Paolo Espino and Austen Williams, plus lefty Roenis Elías and infielder Adrián Sanchez cleared outright waivers last week; Barrett, Espino and Elias elected to become free agents.

Thumbnail image for Guerra-WS-G4-Blue-sidebar.jpgGuerra appeared in 14 games this season, posting a 4.02 ERA and 1.660 WHIP, before suffering a left hamstring strain that sidelined him for the final three weeks. The versatile 34-year-old reliever was a key member of the Nationals’ World Series-winning bullpen in 2019, making 40 appearances with a 4.86 ERA and a 1.248 WHIP.

Though he wasn’t tendered a contract last winter, Guerra wound up re-signing a minor league deal with the Nationals and came to spring training as a non-roster invitee. Given his relationship with the organization, it wouldn’t be surprising if the same happens this winter and he again is among those competing for a job in West Palm Beach next spring.

Freeman made this year’s opening day bullpen as a non-roster invitee and got off to a strong start this summer, with a 1.80 ERA in seven appearances. But the 33-year-old lefty felt a pop in his elbow upon throwing a pitch Aug. 12 in New York and later learned he had torn his ulnar collateral ligament.

Freeman underwent Tommy John surgery, the second time he has needed that major procedure in his career, and wouldn’t be ready to pitch again until late in the 2021 season at the earliest.

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