Mitch Lively opts out of contract, signs with Nationals

Northern California native and former Sacramento State pitcher Mitch Lively opted out of his minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday, according to Chris Cotillo of SB Nation and MLB Daily Dish.

According to the report, Lively has since signed with the Washington Nationals, and will report to their Triple-A affiliate Syracuse Chiefs.

Lively, a native of Susanville, Calif., was signed to a minor league deal by the Giants in 2008 after being drafted a year earlier by the Colorado Rockies. He has pitched for five San Francisco affiliated minor league teams, including the Fresno Grizzlies for the last three seasons. 

Lively was named Venezuelan Winter League Pitcher of the Year in February after going 6-1 with a 1.70 ERA during 10 starts for the Navegantes del Magallanes. 

Three and a half months into the 2014 season, Lively had posted a 5.08 ERA and a 1.61 WHIP over 90.1 innings in the Grizzlies' starting rotation. Among the six Fresno starting pitchers, Lively's ERA was the highest. 

Until the 2013 season, Lively had pitched exclusively as a reliever before starting 20 games for the Grizzlies that year. Lively's best statistical season came in 2011 when he owned a 2.14 ERA pitching in 56 combined games for the San Jose Giants and Richmond Flying Squirrels.