The Nationals announced on Tuesday afternoon the signing of veteran right-handed reliever Mark Lowe to a minor league deal. He will report to Class AAA Syracuse to bolster the team’s relieving depth as the Nationals have leaned heavily on their minor league pitching early this season through injuries.
Lowe, 30, was released by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim last week. He posted a 9.26 ERA — 12 earned runs in 11 2/3 innings — and struggled with command, walking 11 batters. His previous two seasons, with the Texas Rangers, he pitched well and had a 3.80 ERA over 45 innings in 2011 and 3.43 ERA over 39 1/3 innings in 2012. Lowe first came up with the Seattle Mariners in 2006 and in eight major league seasons has a career 4.17 ERA.
Updated, June 12: Lowe’s deal also includes a July 15 opt-out clause, the first opt-out clause in the contract, according to a person familiar with the deal. The Nationals were one of a handful of teams originally interested in Lowe this offseason but the right-hander chose to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was granted his release during spring training and then signed with the Angels, who released him last week.