Former Reds' draft bust encounters uncertain future after being DFA'd by Nationals

This is rather surprising.

Washington Nationals third baseman Nick Senzel
Washington Nationals third baseman Nick Senzel / David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Nick Senzel's tenure in our nation's capital is over. The former Cincinnati Reds outfielder was designated for assignment by the Washington Nationals on Saturday in order to open up a roster spot for infielder Trey Lipscomb.

Senzel and the Reds parted ways this past offseason after the former first-round pick was not tendered a contract — effectively making him a free agent for the first time in his career. Senzel signed a one-year deal with the Nationals during the offseason and was scheduled to be their Opening Day third baseman.

Ironically, the Reds and Nats squared off on Opening Day this season and Senzel was in the lineup. But a freak injury prior to the start of the game saw the Nationals scratch Senzel from lineup card and eventually place him on the 10-day IL.

Nationals DFA former Reds first-round pick Nick Senzel

Senzel was always lauded as an immensely talented baseball player. The second-overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, Senzel was supposed to be be a fixture in the Reds' infield and become an All-Star caliber third baseman.

But a barrage of injuries during his minor (and major) league career, the presence of Eugenio Suárez at third base along with his six-year contract, and a position change to the outfield spelled disaster for Senzel's time in the Queen City.

Senzel spent a plethora of time on the IL with a number of different ailments. Ultimately, Senzel transitioned from the Reds everyday (if you can call it that) centerfielder into a utility player in 2023. Senzel found success against left-handed pitching, but was eventually optioned to the minor leagues near the end of last season.

Senzel will have the opportunity to either latch on with another club via a trade or waiver claim, or the 29-year-old could be outrighted to Triple-A Rochester. This is quite the fall from grace for a player that was supposed to anchor the Reds' lineup for a decade.

Senzel will now look to join his third team in less than a year or attempt to make a comeback with a strong showing in the minors. Either way, this is a rather humbling experience for the former Reds first-round pick.

More Cincinnati Reds News and Rumors