Lidge, 35, signed a $1 million contract with Washington in January. He had an opportunity to close games when Drew Storen began the season on the disabled list. But Lidge underwent sports hernia surgery in late April and was ineffective upon his return three weeks ago.
Lidge went 0-1 with a 9.64 ERA in 11 appearances with the Nationals, and the team designated him for assignment June 17 and released him on Monday.
Lidge has returned home to his native Colorado, and said he is enjoying the time off with his family. He has instructed his agents, Jim Turner and Rex Gary, to take calls from interested teams.
But he is uncertain if he wants to pitch again this year.
"I am healthy,'' Lidge said in an email to ESPN.com, "but based on the path I would have to take to get back to the bigs this year, I am not sure I will be jumping back in right now. No official decision one way or another, but mostly I am not happy that I rushed back from surgery before I was ready only to be designated for assignment a couple of days later.''
Lidge, 35, made two All-Star Games and recorded 225 saves in 11 seasons with Houston, Philadelphia and Washington. He went 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA while converting 41 of 41 save opportunities for the Phillies in 2008, and struck out Tampa Bay's Eric Hinske for the final out of the World Series.
The New York Mets, in serious need of bullpen help, have been mentioned in as one potential suitor for Lidge.
The Phillies also have serious bullpen issues, but there have been no indications they might be interested in bringing back Lidge.