KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- Right-hander John Patterson cleared waivers on Saturday and is now a free agent. The former National will entertain offers from other clubs, including the Astros.
Patterson's agent, Alan Hendricks, said on Saturday that he was planning to speak with the Astros, who are interested in signing Patterson to a Minor League contract.
Patterson appears to have interest in the Astros, who are located near his hometown of Orange, Texas.
"That's a nice piece of it, but the decision will be based on the best professional decision for John," Hendricks said.
The Astros seemingly have holes in their rotation and may benefit from adding Patterson to the mix. Roy Oswalt, Brandon Backe, Wandy Rodriguez and Shawn Chacon have the first four spots locked up, but the final spot is still up for grabs. Woody Williams, Jack Cassel and Chris Sampson are currently auditioning for the position.
Patterson, a 30-year-old right-hander, was released by the Nationals on Friday after putting together an 0-2 record and a 7.00 ERA over nine innings this spring. Once considered the prize of Washington's pitching staff, Patterson's productivity has dipped in the last two seasons, due to nerve damage in his right forearm. He underwent surgery last September to decompress the radial nerve in that arm.
Patterson would not be ready to pitch for the start of the regular season but he could help a team sometime this year. If the Astros were to sign Patterson, he would likely join the Triple-A Round Rock club to continue his rehab regimen.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.