UPDATE: Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that Feliz has elected free agency. Teams shied away from claiming him because of his remaining salary, but he should draw plenty of interest now that he’s free to sign anywhere. It’s also worth noting that he’s arbitration-eligible for 2016.
6:26 p.m. ET: 29 teams passed on Rangers right-hander Neftali Feliz, as Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish reports that the former American League Rookie of the Year Award winner went through waivers unclaimed. He can choose whether to accept an outright assignment to the minors or opt for free agency.
Feliz was recently designated for assignment by the Rangers after posting a disappointing 4.58 ERA and 16/9 K/BB ratio over 19 2/3 innings this season. The 27-year-old began the year in the closer role, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister moved away from him in mid-May and Shawn Tolleson has since emerged as the team’s top option.
While Feliz still has the name recognition based on his early promise, he hasn’t been the same pitcher since his Tommy John surgery in 2012. He’s still owed a little over $2 million for the remainder of the season, so it’s not all that surprising that nobody took a chance on him.
The Pirates are officially shutting down Chris Archer for the season, GM Neal Huntington revealed Sunday. It’s more of a formality than anything else, but, as the Pirates are currently out of postseason contention, there seems to be no point in forcing the right-hander to accelerate his recovery from right shoulder inflammation.
Archer, 30, sustained the injury in late August and was initially projected to return sometime during September. He’s been throwing from flat ground over the last several weeks, but there had been no indication that he was ready to resume starting duties for the club. He’ll end his 2019 run with a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 10.8 SO/9, and 0.7 fWAR across 119 2/3 innings pitched; not his worst performance to date, but a considerable step down from the sub-5.00 ERA and 2.6 fWAR he posted with the Rays and Pirates in 2018.
With two weeks left in the regular season, the Pirates will soon wrap up their fourth consecutive non-contending campaign. Following Saturday’s brutal 14-1 loss to the Cubs, they were mathematically eliminated from postseason qualification. They last reached the playoffs in 2015, though it’s been six years since they advanced past the wild card tiebreaker and 27 years since they advanced past the Division Series.