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After DFA shuffle, Brady Dragmire pitching well in Nationals system

The pitcher was designated for assignment five times in 2017 —twice by two teams— he looks to have found a home

MLB: Spring Training-Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Who else but Dragmire?

When a player has been tossed around more times by MLB organizations than even LeBron James would dare number off —like Octavio Dotel (13) or Edwin Jackson (12), who was traded on the same day in 2011— you have to take it both ways.

You are wanted. (You are loved?) All these clubs wanted you, if not for the previous team being content to go on without you.

For minor league pitcher Brady Dragmire, it’s been a long, strange trip... through waivers... in his pro career.

Drafted in the 17th round of the 2011 draft by Toronto, the right-hander signed right out of high school to begin his baseball playing career. After three seasons and 30 games in rookie ball, only starting a few games in the third year, he entered full-season competition in 2014.

For Low-A Lansing, he was excellent exclusively out of the bullpen, saving five games among 19 finishes and rolling with a 5:1 K:BB ratio.

He struggled the following 2015 for High-A Dunedin, but the Blue Jays included him among their Arizona Fall League invites and he was impressive there, and subsequently added to their 40-man roster.

MLB: Washington Nationals-Media Day Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A year after earning the spot, with an average year of bullpen production in-between, he was DFA’d and traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash. That’s when things got a bit weird.

After being dealt in October, the Pirates tried to outright him off the 40-man in December, only to lose him to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers tried to do the same two weeks later and the Pirates claimed him back. The Pirates gave it another go, and he was claimed back again by the Rangers.

Finally, in late January, the Rangers and Pirates stopped the quagmire and the Rangers were able to outright Dragmire.

Promoted to Triple-A, he was at his career-worst in 20 games in his first exposure there. Out of the bullpen for Round Rock, his strikeout numbers tumbled and his ERA pushed six.

Instead of perhaps demoting him to Double-A, where he had been prior to the DFA shuffle, the Rangers released him from his contract and Dragmire signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals.

The Nats moved him back to Double-A Harrisburg, and continued to utilize him out of the pen. However, he would turn in multiple-inning outings frequently, and Washington decided to see what he could do as a starter to end the year.

After a small taste in 2013, the Nationals liked what they saw.

2018 has been entirely as a starting pitcher, and the 25-year old is delivering a career season to date. In nine starts so far, he has a 2.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 34:11 K:BB rate, and has allowed just three home runs in 55 innings.

It’s been quite the journey for Brady Dragmire, who has barely even written his baseball story. Already an eight-year minor league veteran, you must remember he entered the league at just 18. Everyone matures differently, and he’s certainly had some bizarre circumstances, which are behind him.