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Nationals Designate Israel Pineda

The Nationals announced that catcher Israel Pineda has been designated for assignment.  The move opens up a 40-man roster spot for Joey Gallo, whose one-year, $5MM contract with D.C. is now official.

Pineda was a member of the Nationals’ 2016 international signing class, and he has spent his entire career in the organization.  Still only 23 years old, Pineda has hit .231/.291/.374 over 1529 plate appearances in the minor leagues, though he hit quite well at Double-A in 2022 and earned his first MLB call-up that September when Keibert Ruiz went on the injured list.

After appearing in his first four big league games, Pineda didn’t make it back to the Show in 2023 due in large part to injuries.  A fractured ring finger and an oblique strain limited Pineda to just 41 total games, and he had only a .496 OPS over 153 PA split over three minor league levels.  This rough year made Pineda expendable on Washington’s 40-man, though there might be a chance he simply clears waivers and remains in the minors as a depth option.

Ruiz and Riley Adams have the catching situation covered at the MLB level for the Nats, leaving Drew Millas (with 11 games) as the only other backstop in the organization with any Major League experience.  If Pineda isn’t brought back, the Nationals figure to be in the market for some veteran depth to bring into Spring Training on a minors deal.


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