Nationals release Luis Ayala

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The Nationals have released veteran reliever Luis Ayala after signing him to a minor-league contract in early February.

Ayala has actually been remarkably effective over the past three seasons, posting a 2.58 ERA in 164 total innings despite being in his mid-30s and looking more or less washed up previously.

However, his raw stuff has long since ceased being impressive and the Nationals’ bullpen is a tough one to crack considering both the depth and quality of relievers, so Ayala ultimately might be better off latching on somewhere else.

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Angels hire Brad Ausmus as special assistant to the GM

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports that the Angels have hired former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus as a special assistant to GM Billy Eppler.

Ausmus, 48, managed the Tigers for four seasons, accruing a 314-332 (.486) record. The Tigers fired him after the 2017 season and hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire in his place.

Ausmus will assist with scouting and evaluations of players in the Angels’ system, amateurs, and players in other organizations.