The Angels have placed reliever Austin Warren on release waivers, according to the transaction log at MLB.com. If he goes unclaimed, he’ll be a free agent. Los Angeles had designated Warren for assignment yesterday when they acquired Guillermo Zuñiga in a minor trade with the Cardinals.
Warren is still rehabbing from the Tommy John surgery that he underwent last May. Injured players cannot be placed on outright waivers. Once the Halos DFA the right-hander, they had to either trade or release him. Given the unlikelihood of finding a trade partner, they moved quickly to put him on release waivers.
A sixth-round pick in 2018, Warren has spent his entire career in the Angels system. He pitched his way to the majors in 2021 and worked to a 1.77 ERA over 20 1/3 innings as a rookie. That dipped to a 5.63 mark through 16 innings in 2022, when he shuttled between Angel Stadium and Triple-A Salt Lake. Warren only made two big league appearances last year before suffering the injury that required surgery.
When teams release a player who are injured and can’t be outrighted, it’s fairly common for them to try to bring him back on a minor league deal if he clears waivers. If he gets to free agency, Warren could instead seek out opportunities with other organizations for the first time. It’s also possible a team places a claim and stashes him on the 60-day injured list with that avenue reopening in the next few days.