MacDougal becomes free agent

Right-hander Mike MacDougal is now a free agent after opting out of his Minor League contract with the Nationals on Thursday.

As a setup man, MacDougal put up respectable numbers for Triple-A Syracuse, going 2-0 with  3.29 ERA and one save. However, the Nats didn’t have any room for him in the Major Leagues because the current relief corps is productive. Entering Thursday’s action against the Mets, Washington relievers have a combined 24 with a 3.49 ERA 

Last season, MacDougal was Washington’s closer, saving 20 games with a 3.60 ERA. He was arbitration eligible after the season, but was non-tendered in December because the team wasn’t sure if he would recover from offseason hip surgery.

MacDougal, 33, then signed with the Marlins and gave up five earned runs in 4 2/3 innings during Spring Training before he was unconditionally released by the club. Less than a week later, MacDougal signed with the Nationals.

With Washington, MacDougal had a deal in his contract that allowed him to become a free agent if he wasn’t promoted to the big leagues by Thursday.

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