Former Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle DFA’d by Reds

Sean Doolittle and Tucker Barnhart

Sean Doolittle has hit waivers after the Reds designated him for assignment Tuesday, the team announced. The former Nationals reliever finished his stint in Cincinnati with a 4.46 ERA and one save over 45 appearances.

Doolittle, 34, signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Reds last offseason following three and a half seasons in Washington. The Nationals acquired him from the Oakland A’s midseason in 2017 and he entrenched himself as a key member of their bullpen. Doolittle posted a 3.03 ERA with 75 saves while helping the Nationals to their first World Series title in 2019.

The southpaw made just 11 appearances for Washington in 2020 as knee and oblique injuries kept him out for most of the pandemic-shortened campaign. He also experienced some diminished velocity as his fastball averaged just 90.7 mph. That number is back up to 92.9 mph this season, but it wasn’t for the Reds to hold onto him as they fight for a Wild Card spot.

If he clears waivers, Doolittle will be an intriguing candidate for playoff contenders in need of bullpen help with the trade deadline having already passed.