Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo declined to specify Monday why Jeremy Jeffress was released from a minor league contract by the team, saying only that he considered it an “employment issue” and acknowledging it was not related to the reliever’s baseball performance.
“We’re just going to stand by the statement I made yesterday. It’s a ‘personnel matter’,” Rizzo said in a video conference with reporters a day after the team cut ties with Jeffress, a 2018 NL All-Star for the Brewers who was with the Cubs last season. “We’re not going to discuss it any further, per our policy on personnel matters, and we’re just going to keep it at that.”
Asked to define the term he used in relation to the move, Rizzo responded, “A ‘personnel reason’ is an employment issue.”
After Washington announced his release Sunday, Jeffress tweeted: “I’m not what they say I am, I’m what God says! I don’t deserve this false negativity!”
Manager Dave Martinez wouldn’t comment on Jeffress at all.
“I’m really not inclined to talk about it,” Martinez said.
- Pitcher Jon Lester is back in camp after surgery to remove his thyroid gland on Friday in New York. “He’s sore around where the incision is, so we’re going to take it slow. But we’re going to actually ramp him up,” Martinez said.