Nationals Arm Race

"… the reason you win or lose is darn near always the same – pitching.” — Earl Weaver

Voth DFA; end of an era


Voth runs out of chances with the Nats. Photo official

It finally happened. Nine pro seasons, all three options, starter roles and reliever roles, long man and middle relief roles … Austin Voth finally got cut from this pitching staff yesterday.

His stat line this year: 18 IP, 34 hits, a whip north of 2, an ERA north of 10 … it was finally enough for even a last place team who’s entire goal this season is to groom soon-to-be FA players for the trade deadline to squeeze more prospects out of contending teams.

Voth seems likely to clear waivers (who’s going to give a 25-man spot to him based on his performance this year) and then faces an interesting choice; does he accept an outright or does he take his chances elsewhere? I’m betting he accepts the outright, unless some other team tells him during the waiver period that they’re interested in signing him and a better opportunity exists. But think about it; if he accepts the outright, he goes to AAA and when we trade half the bullpen in July he may very well get called back up for one last chance at redemption before an inevitable non-tender next fall.

You hate to see players go that you’ve been talking about for a decade. He was a 5th rounder college sign who made it; we can’t say that about a lot of our 5th rounders over the last decade. So bravo for that. I hope he sticks around, cleans up at AAA, and earns another shot.

Written by Todd Boss

June 1st, 2022 at 9:48 am

Posted in Majors Pitching

10 Responses to 'Voth DFA; end of an era'

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  1. Todd, you forgot to mention how in the early days how Voth was a favorite of yours.
    I looked and he managed to accrue about 2.3 years of service time with a career 6+ ERA.

    Mark L

    1 Jun 22 at 10:04 am

  2. Voth was not without talent, very good in 2019 as a starter. when he switched to the bullpen his velocity ticked up a bit and I was hoping for a Stammen-like career. it just never materialized thou he would have short stretches of above average performance.

    since electing free agency would mean forfeiting his 875K salary I doubt he does that. I expect him to get another shot but not more than one unless he figures it out.


    1 Jun 22 at 10:40 am

  3. Voth declining the outright/Electing FA means forfeiting his guaranteed salary? I’ve never heard that, and can’t believe that’s the case. If that was the case … then teams would constantly be DFA’ing players on huge FA contracts daring them to declare FA to get out of the contract. Can you show me some documentation in the CBA that supports that?

    Todd Boss

    1 Jun 22 at 11:07 am

  4. MarkL: yes Voth was always a favorite of mine. Solid college arm who always had great minor league numbers. he cruised in his draft year, earned two promotions his first full pro year … then went two entire full seasons in AA and AAA in the rotation, 157 IP each year, in 2015-16. I never understood the fascination with Fedde versus Voth during this time, other than the obvious (draft bonus investment).

    Todd Boss

    1 Jun 22 at 11:12 am

  5. Todd, from MLB trade Rumors,

    Voth has more than three years of MLB service time, so he’d have the right to refuse a minor league assignment if he clears waivers. That’d require forfeiting the remainder of his $875K salary, however, making it likelier he’d accept an outright to Rochester if another club doesn’t take a shot on him.

    in another post regarding A Sanchez it was stated that his five years meant salary was guaranteed


    1 Jun 22 at 12:03 pm

  6. Voth was one of the very-very-very non-1st-round Nat picks over the last decade to even sort of make it. Yes, he was always treated as second fiddle to Fedde coming through the minors even though his numbers were always as good and usually better. I have no inside knowledge, but it always seemed like it was the promotion of long-time minor-league pitching coordinator Paul Menhart to MLB pitching coach that finally got Voth a real shot. He pitched well down the stretch in 2019 and deserves that ring he’ll always wear. When given a real chance as a starter in 2020, though, Voth spit the bit, and Hickey made him a reliever.

    Maybe he should have been a reliever all along. Who knows? The Nats have been so-so-so resistant to making guys relievers until they’re all but out of chances. (See A. J. Cole, among others.) I’ve thought that Evan Lee, who they promoted to start today, should be a reliever. Same for Steven Fuentes. Then they wonder why they can’t develop decent relievers.

    And they do need to be developed. There’s no only a different mentality between starting and relieving, but also different physical and mental preparation. I’ve always felt like guys like Voth who don’t make the switch until the majors are at a disadvantage. Certainly there are plenty of success stories, but there are more stories of guys with good arms who had a hard time learning the tricks of the new trade. Maybe, if Voth goes to Rochester, Tyler Clippard can impart some knowledge of what it took to be successful in that transition.


    1 Jun 22 at 1:31 pm

  7. Very-very-very FEW non-1st-rounders . . .


    1 Jun 22 at 1:33 pm

  8. Voth salary forfeiture. Yeah, I see it. I wonder if its b/c he’s got 3 years (so he has the right to refuse it) but less than 5 years (where he can no longer get sent down w/o his consent).

    I mean, think about it: Mets have Cano on the roster for $24M this year; when they DFA’d him they can’t outright him and have him ignore it and get out of $24M.

    I’d like to read this in the CBA somewhere to see what the exact rules are. B/c i’ve never heard of what I thought was a guaranteed contract be eligible to get voided like this before.

    Todd Boss

    1 Jun 22 at 1:39 pm

  9. I read where Stevensen also got to keep his $775,000 salary because they signed a contract in November.

    Mark L

    1 Jun 22 at 3:20 pm

  10. Todd, you’re a pitching guy, have someone for you to pay attention to. Zach Brzykcy. Now that he is in Harrisburg you can watch him on Milbtv.
    To refresh your memory he was signed in 2020; that was the year where there were only 5 rounds and any free agent could get only $25,000.

    In the middle of the pre-vaccine pandemic he decided to not stay at Virginia Tech and turn pro. There were about 18-20 teams that wanted him and he could go anywhere he wanted. He chose the Nats because he said that they were the ones who would best help him harness his talent.

    He was always said to have an electric arm but when I hear that I think Nuke Laloosh. Only 22 years old we can now see what he has at AA, which is the 1st level where you can see how a player can project. His ERA at High A was a microscopic 1.66.

    Mark L

    4 Jun 22 at 5:28 pm

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