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Brian Bruney clears waivers, will refuse assignment [UPDATED]

Having cleared waivers earlier this week, reliever Brian Bruney will refuse his assignment to the minor leagues, effectively ending his short tenure with the Nationals. Despite his struggles with the Nationals, Bruney still believes himself to be an able major league pithcer, and accepting the assignment would have meant starting over in the minor leagues.

The Nationals will have roughly a week to trade Bruney. If they cannot find a deal the Nationals will likely release him. At that point, Bruney will become a free agent, but the Nationals will be responsible for his contract until he signs with another team.

The Nationals designated Bruney after he struggled for the first month of the season. Bruney allowed 20 walks and 21 hits in 17 2/3 innings while accumulating a 7.64 ERA. The Nationals acquired Bruney this offseason in a trade with the New York Yankees and signed him to a $1.5 million, one-year contract after winning an arbitration hearing in February.

By Adam Kilgore  |  May 21, 2010; 7:53 PM ET
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Shocking news!

Posted by: Tom8 | May 21, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Can someone who knows the twisted CBA explain what happens IF:
A) Bruney accepts the assignment (I assume he keeps his salary and remains with the Nats.)
B) Refuses assignment and becomes an UFA (I assume his contract is voided as of today's date and he only receives his prorated season's salary through today)...

Posted by: -CN- | May 21, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

I'm shocked! SHOCKED, I tells ya!

Posted by: p_chuck | May 21, 2010 6:26 PM | Report abuse

MLB salaries are guaranteed; the Nats are on the hook for his entire $1.5M no matter what he does.

If he becomes unrestricted, another team could sign him for whatever he could get, though he'd only like to get offered a prorated MLB minimum salary for a new team since everyone knows what he's already getting paid.

What is he going to do? I'll guess he declines the assignment and goes and plays independent ball. That seems to be the thing to do if you've got an ego and don't want to admit to yourself that you just lost your job. Same thing Taveras just did.

Posted by: tboss | May 21, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

He should go down to Syracuse...if he really believes that he was feeling fine ...then he just needs to get his mind in order...because I never saw anybody look so scared pitching...

Posted by: CBinDC1 | May 21, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Remembering his attitude towards the team when he lost his arb hearing, I expect him to head elsewhere.

Posted by: sjt1455 | May 21, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The writing is on the wall. He gone...

Posted by: nattydread1 | May 21, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Who/what was traded for this bum?

Posted by: tderrick17 | May 21, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

I think the trade was for our Rule 5 pick

Posted by: jpt1002 | May 21, 2010 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Yes, the Rule 5 pick was outfielder Jamie Hoffmann, who the Yanks returned to the Dodgers.

I wonder about the arbitration fallout. These guys are big boys in a big business, so they ought to be able to handle the emotions of arb, but Bruney sure seemed angry. If there was fallout, it's a bad way to start your relationship. He didn't pick the Nats, the Yankees traded him here.

On the other hand, maybe the fact that he fought for a salary that he didn't "deserve," based on the arb hearing results, is an indication that he's not aware of his real skills and value.

Either way, no surprise he refused assignment.

Posted by: utec | May 22, 2010 6:12 AM | Report abuse

What's weird is that by all accounts, Bruney showed good stuff - but only when it didn't matter. Kind of like the guy who can turn invisible when no one is looking. There seem to be a few pitching coaches in the league that are good with reclamation projects - Dave Duncan in St. Louis is one of them. Maybe Bruney will find somebody willing to work him through this.

Posted by: pgcorky | May 22, 2010 7:07 AM | Report abuse

I am sorry to lose Bruney. If he could keep it from sailing high, he had really good stuff, and pitchers can be taught to keep the ball down. He might turn out pretty good for someone someday, and we might regret losing him.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | May 22, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

major league pithcer -----SPELL CHECK ADAM, I need a job, i'll take this one if you can't perform.

Posted by: MajorFacemask | May 22, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

he contributed 2 years, nobody will even remember he was here.

Posted by: outrbnksm | May 22, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Another major league player acting like a spoiled brat. The MLB salary structure needs to be changed so that a player assigned to the minors for work should be cut off if they refuse. Bruney did not earn the money he collected this year and thinks he should be paid while he continues to hurt the team. This is a good example of the players union hurting MLB. For all the good things that the union did/does, this is not one of them. Bad attitudes, like Fat Albert and Mr. Bruney, hurt team more than their skills help them.

Posted by: pjohn2 | May 22, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

See ya BB...don't let the door hit ya in your bruney a$$.

Posted by: cokedispatch | May 22, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

I wish Bruney well, and have no animosity. His remarks after his DFA were quite classy, imo. I would suggest that those who haven't already done so listen to or read those remarks in full context as opposed to reading a snippet of them in a Tweet or some such.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | May 22, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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