WASHINGTON — Versailles High School graduate Craig Stammen is a free agent after the Washington Nationals decided on Wednesday not to tender him a contract for the 2016 season.
This is the first time in his career that the 31-year-old Stammen will be able to test the free agent market. He is free to sign with any team.
Stammen missed most of the 2015 season after having surgery on April 19 to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right forearm.
Prior to discovering the injury, which sent him to the disabled list for the first time in his seven-year major league career, Stammen had made five appearances out of the Nationals’ bullpen during the 2015 season. He had pitched four innings and had an ERA of 0.00.
Before his injury, Stammen was one of the most dependable pitchers in all of baseball. The Versailles graduate threw more innings out of the bullpen than any other major league pitcher from 2012 through 2014. In his league-leading 242 2/3 innings during that span, he had a 2.93 ERA with 222 strikeouts.
For his career Stammen has a 3.91 ERA in 490 2/3 innings pitched — all for Washington. After beginning his career as a starting pitcher, the right hander found his niche in the bullpen.
Washington selected Stammen in the 12th round of the 2005 draft out of the University of Dayton.
The Nationals hired Dusty Baker as their manager in November to replace Matt Williams, who they fired after two seasons with the ball club. The team failed to make the playoffs this past season after winning the National League East and making the playoffs in 2012 and 2014.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.