The Nats placed DeJesus on revocable trade waivers almost immediately after acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs on Monday, according to major league sources.
The move by the Nationals could indicate that the team does not want to assume the remaining financial obligation to DeJesus, which amounts to about $2.5 million.
DeJesus, 33, is owed just more than $1 million for the rest of the season, and the Nats inherited his $6.5 million club option or $1.5 million buyout for 2014.
The Nationals placed a claim on DeJesus and then acquired him for a player to be named when the Cubs declined to pull back the 10-year veteran, sources said.
A player claimed can be traded to the claiming team, dumped on that club or pulled back. A player who clears waivers can be traded to all 29 other clubs.
Rival executives, after seeing that DeJesus was back on waivers, speculated that the Nats want to clear his money.
The Nats are set in their outfield with Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth. To clear room for DeJesus, they released outfielder Roger Bernadina.
Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post that he wanted DeJesus to improve the team’s bench.
“(DeJesus) improves our left-handed side of the bench immediately,” Rizzo said. “He’s also a guy that is capable of being an everyday player. He can step in there for extended periods of time if there are injuries. He helps us in a variety of ways.
“He’s really wearing out right-handed pitching right now. He’s a high on-base percentage guy in his career. A consummate professional hitter.”
DeJesus, who missed more than a month earlier this season because of a right shoulder sprain, is a career .279 hitter with a .354 on-base percentage and .771 OPS. He batted .250 with a .732 OPS and six homers in 284 at-bats this season for the Cubs.
The Nationals will learn Wednesday if DeJesus cleared waivers. The Cubs will be interested in re-signing him if the Nationals or another team that acquires him declines his club option, sources said.