After being designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers and subsequently clearing waivers, Nate Jones elected to become a free agent.
Jones was initially sent outright to Triple-A Oklahoma City, but exercised his right to decline the assignment since he has accrued a minimum of five years of Major League service time.
Jones was removed from both the 40-man and active rosters last week to make room for Steven Souza Jr. The right-hander signed with the Dodgers in the middle of May after being cut loose by the Atlanta Braves and initially thrived by tossing scoreless outings in five of his first six appearances.
Jones’ previous struggles would resurface, however, as he allowed six runs over his final two games with the Dodgers. In eight overall appearances, he posted an 8.31 ERA, 8.24 FIP and 1.15 WHIP with seven strikeouts against two walks over 8.2 innings pitched.
The 35-year-old now looks to catch on with a third team this season. One of Jones’ biggest focuses with the Dodgers was improving his four-seam fastball, which he recently began throwing.
“For all my career I was most comfortable down in the zone. So when you start throwing a four-seam, I think all vertical and ride on it, so it plays a lot better at the top of the zone,” Jones said last month.
“Coming into Spring Training with the Braves, that was something we worked on and tried to get as comfortable as I could before the season started. It’s just keep evolving as a pitcher, keep learning, watching hitters and how they react to that.
“Because it’s not my best strength, per se, but it’s something I’m learning about and learning how the hitters swing at it. What it means where they foul it off and all that good stuff, and what I need to do on the next pitch.”
Dodgers trade Santana to Rangers
Jones is the second pitcher to depart the Dodgers in the past week, joining Dennis Santana, who was designated for assignment and subsequently traded to the Texas Rangers for Minor League pitcher Kelvin Bautista.
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