Nationals release Cuban righty Yunesky Maya

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The Nationals had big plans for Yunesky Maya when they signed the Cuban right-hander back in 2010 to a four-year, $6 million international free agent contract.

But the dream has come to an end in Washington.

According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Nats officially released Maya on Saturday after getting just 16 major league appearances out of him in four seasons. Maya had a rough 5.80 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 27/21 K/BB ratio in 59 total innings with Washington. He pitched just once this year at the big league level and that two-batter relief outing ended in a Pablo Sandoval walkoff home run.

Before defecting from his native country, Maya played for the Cuban national team in the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics and was 48-29 with a 2.51 ERA in six Serie Nacional seasons.

The 32-year-old should be able to find a minor league contract this winter.

Nick Williams has been trying to sell Jake Arrieta on the Phillies

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CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.

Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”

On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”

Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.

Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.