The Nationals requested release waivers Thursday for corner infielder Mauro Gomez, who they claimed off waivers from the the Toronto Blue Jays on Sept. 5. Gomez intends to play next season in Japan and, according to a Japanese-language report, appears to be working on a deal with the Hanshin Tigers. He never appeared in a game for the Nationals.
The 29-year-old power hitting first baseman-third baseman spent the past season with Class AAA Buffalo in Toronto’s system. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound right-hander hit .249 with 21 doubles, 29 home runs and 73 RBI. He drew 43 walks and posted a .843 OPS in 110 games with Buffalo. His 29 home runs tied Nationals prospect Zach Walters, a September call-up, for the most in Class AAA this season.
Gomez seemed destined to receive a potential invite to big league camp next spring, serve as infield depth and, if he did well, perhaps to be in contention for a bench spot next season. Gomez, a Dominican Republic native, was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2003. He made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox last season and hit .275 with two homers in 37 games. Over 10 minor league seasons, he has hit 159 home runs, including five 20-homer campaigns.
The Nationals’ 40-man roster now stands at 39 players.