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Rule 5 Goodies

The Nationals selected two players -- third baseman Matt Whitney and outfielder Garrett Guzman -- in the just-completed Rule 5 draft. They are added to the 40-man roster, but to remain with the franchise they must stay with the major league club all next season or be offered back to their former teams.

Whitney, a former Cleveland prospect, suffered a horrible injury of a broken leg early in his career. But he had huge numbers for two levels with the Indians, hitting .308 at Lake County in Class A and .288 at high-Class A Kinston. The 23-year-old had 32 homers and 113 RBI combined at the two levels.

"This is a Jesus Flores-type draft," Jim Bowden said. "He's not ready for the major leagues, but he certainly has tremendous potential."

He can play both corner infield positions, and could serve as a right-handed bat off the bench if he shows he can handle it. "He got healthy last year for the first time," Bowden said.

Guzman was a different pick, a player the Nationals feel is closer to the major leagues. Bowden said he would compete with Ryan Langerhans for the fifth outfield spot. He hit .312 with 14 homers and 88 RBI at Class AA New Britain last year. "He could be a fourth outfielder in the big leagues right now," Bowden said. He (not Whitney, as I mistakenly said earlier) is a left-handed bat.

Guzman also missed the entire 2005 season after breaking his neck in a car accident. He was taken from the Twins.

Bowden is leaving now. Other Nats staffers will filter out today. More in a while.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 6, 2007; 10:29 AM ET
 
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Comments

Whitney is LH? Would help if he is, but he looks to be RH.

Posted by: EdDC | December 6, 2007 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Whitney looks a RH to me

Posted by: Brian | December 6, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Whitney hitting a home run from the right side: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OES_-cjRHiM

Posted by: Sam | December 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

1. Kearns
2. Wily Mo Pena
3. Lastings Milledge
4. Elijah Dukes
5. Langerhans/Guzman

Is that what we're looking at? That doesn't make sense. No matter how much Nook-hating there is out there, you can't say that Langerhans is better.

No, that means that someone from outfielders number 1 - 4 is moving off the major league roster.

1. Kearns - obviously some of the better trade bait we have. For a catcher? A starting pitching prospect? I'd rather keep him, though.

2. WMP - possibly he could not be signed by the Nats. But that seems like a waste, given he looked so good last year. What's his option situation?

3. Milledge - that makes no sense, since we just gave up two franchise guys for him. Does he have options?

4. Dukes - Most likely to be optioned. Is that possible?

X. Logan - Maybe he's a fire-sale situation?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

whitney looks like our backup 1b. real quiet on the nick johnson front...

guzman over langerhans. sure, why not.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2007 10:48 AM | Report abuse

still hedging our bets on dukes. give him a chance but don't get caught with your pants down...

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2007 10:49 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know if Langerhans has options left? Can we send him back to the minors next season, or will he have to clear waivers?

Thanks-

Posted by: GM | December 6, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Any pitchers? Anywhere? Bueller...

Posted by: Juan-John | December 6, 2007 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Langerhans has no options remaining. He had to clear waivers last year when we sent him down.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 10:55 AM | Report abuse

So could I.

-----

Bowden said he would compete with Ryan Langerhans for the fifth outfield spot.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 6, 2007 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Bowden said he would compete with Ryan Langerhans for the fifth outfield spot."

These are words that warm my heart on this cold winter day. Why? Because they mean that Nook Logan is G-O-N-E.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 6, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Langerhans could clear waivers any day of the week, because he stinks.

Nook Logan would clear waivers for much the same reason.

Posted by: Three more months | December 6, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

One could argue Langerhans is better from the left side, and as good a late-inning defensive OF.

*********
No matter how much Nook-hating there is out there, you can't say that Langerhans is better.
Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 10:47 AM

Posted by: CE | December 6, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

If Bowden is leaving, I guess the Winter Meetings really are done for the Nats.

Posted by: Three more months | December 6, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Any word on any Nats players taken in the draft? Or should we assume that since Barry didn't mention anything that none were?
Oh, and take Nook over Langerhans in a second...

Posted by: CB | December 6, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Nook was gone when they got Lastings Milledge. Maybe if Dukes doesn't make it past March, Nook's a bench guy/spot starter/fourth OF, but Guzman ("Guzzie II"?) pretty much has to be the fifth OF to stay on the 25-man roster. Too bad; I suspect Nook has one really good year in him, and we haven't seen it yet.

Posted by: ce | December 6, 2007 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals did not lose anyone in the major league portion of the draft. They did lose three players in the Triple-A portion of the draft: RHP Brett Campbell to the Brewers; SS Marcos Cabral to the Bule Jays; and, LHP Juan Cedeno to the Tigers. None lost in Double-A portion.

The Triple (and Double) A portions of the Rule 5 are mostly shuffling around roster filler.

Posted by: Brian | December 6, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

And still no one wanted Larry Broadway. He will never make it to the bigs.

Posted by: Three more months | December 6, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

"One could argue Langerhans is better from the left side"

I was going say that I could go out to Nat's Field right now and build a snowman that would have a better OBP than Langerhans, just from the occasional hit-by-pitch. But that wouldn't be nice, and I actually like Langerhans, even if he can't hit for spit.

Posted by: joebleux | December 6, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Two guys coming back from injuries. Reminds me of the song...who'll take the girl with the skinny legs... JimBow is just an old prospector...sifting thru to find that piece of gold or silver that someone else didn't see. Looks as though these two players do have potential to make it. JimBow is captain of the USS Potential.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 6, 2007 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Guzman I can see since Milledge and Dukes are crap shots for '08. Well, Dukes is a crap shot for any year. Langerhans is a proven .230 hitter so why would he be in contention already for 5th OF??? I agree he would clear waivers again as all .230 hitters will do. As for late inning defense, I've always said I can go find a guy on the softball fields on the mall to play late inning defense, big deal. Hitting is what is hard to find.

But Whitney really confuses me. So, they are now committed to keeping a corner infielder on the 25 man all year. With Zimmerman, Belliard, Young and Johnson, why in the hxxx would they committ to another? Unless they can get a 5th OF who can play infield or go w/ 11 pitchers that means they will only have ONE back up middle infielder!! That can't last. I guess if they give this kid back in May, nothing is really lost.

Anyway, middle infield off the bench is a big gap right now. Should be interesting to see what Bowden does. He can't be done yet because the roster doesn't make sense at this point. And of course they still need a starting 2b and catcher. No rest for Bowden.

Posted by: Avar | December 6, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

OMG. This sh*t's FUNNY.
______________________
I was going say that I could go out to Nat's Field right now and build a snowman that would have a better OBP than Langerhans, just from the occasional hit-by-pitch..."

Posted by: joebleux | December 6, 2007 11:27 AM

Posted by: NatsNut | December 6, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I'd suggest Guze-C and Guze-G

---

"Guzzie II"?

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 6, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Dukes has options remaining (2, if I did my research right).

So that probably solves that mystery. Dukes goes to the minors to work some stuff out, Logan is fourth outfielder and Guzman gets a shot at being number five.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Logan will not on the team folks.... nobody with the Nats saw anything in him last year....if he makes it to Spring Training I will be shocked, but if he does it will be for 10 AB at most.

Posted by: JayB | December 6, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Listen, folks, this is really simple...Dukes, Milledge, Kearns, and Willy Mo are your 1-4 OFs. Dukes won't get sent down to AAA unless he stinks up the joint; he, just like Milledge, will get a chance to play all year on a team that doesn't have aspirations until next year. Why in the world would you trade for this guy if you're not going to give him a chance?
Also, put me in the Logan-over-Langerhans column, easily. Langerhans was ATTROCIOUS at the plate last year. Why anyone would want him anywhere in their organization is beyond me...at least Logan can run!

Posted by: AJ | December 6, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

25 as of now

Zimmerman, C Guzman, Belliard, Lopez, Young, Johnson, Whitney.
Kearns, Peña, Milledge, G Guzman, Dukes.
Flores, somebody else.
Patterson, Hill, Chico, (2 of: Bergman/Lannan/Hanrahan/Redding/one of the young guys).
Shroeder, King, Ayala, Colome, Rausch, Cordero.
*****
But Whitney really confuses me. So, they are now committed to keeping a corner infielder on the 25 man all year. With Zimmerman, Belliard, Young and Johnson, why in the hxxx would they commit to another?

Posted by: Let's Recap | December 6, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

I am with the previous poster above, don't worry about options remaining for Logan and Langerhans, neither is going to be picked up by another team. I think if Dukes struggles, they may just outright send him packing

Posted by: BT | December 6, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20070108a6.html

Posted by: that's not what we meant by hit and run | December 6, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Langerhans is the greatest ever. I will be furious if he doesn't make the team since I have seats in LF and can't wait for that 7th/8th/9th inning defensive replacement so that I can scream Langerhaaaaaannns at the top of my lungs.

Forget Zimmerman, it's Langerhaaaaaannns!

Posted by: Gibby | December 6, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

The only thing I can think of is the Nationals are still concerned about Johnson's rehab/recovery.

Whitney looks like Tony Blanco v2008 (Blanco was a RH power-hitting corner IF Rule 5 guy Bowden took in his first Rule 5 with the Nationals)

Posted by: Brian | December 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Not even then. They need to be able to keep an eye (that would be Dmitri's) on him at all times, and they should be careful to keep him away from young impressionables anyway. He either makes the big club, or he is gone.
*********
Dukes won't get sent down to AAA unless he stinks up the joint

Posted by: CE | December 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

WOW, he is a lock for us

Posted by: BT | December 6, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget what Bowden said about Rule 5 guys regarding Flores. It's very rare for them to stick.

Wouldn't it be more likely these guys get a try out in spring and then get dropped by the Nats if they don't show anything?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Don't understand the Whitney move--it looks another Tony Blanco, despite some intriguing power. The Nats need a corner IF/RH pinch hitter? Makes no sense to keep him on the bench at 24, send him to AAA at 25 so he can be back in the majors at 26 (as opposed to Flores--even if he didn't work out as well as he did, the Nats needed a backup catcher, he could learn something sitting in the bullpen & he could be back in the majors at 23 under the same plan). Filling the Tony Batista role doesn't look like it would advance Whitney's career. The only way this makes sense is if he's a spare part off the bench with some pop, NOT a prospect.

Guzman seems like a better gamble because a) he's LH and b) he could play enough as a spare part to justify the roster slot, since it doesn't look like he's going to be a star anyway. All he would have to do is to be better than Langerhans. Bet Dukes never makes it out of Florida & Nook stays.--this is not a team with much speed & his value is increased because of it.

Posted by: Section 307 (former 418) | December 6, 2007 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Somehow it doesn't seem Lernerish to spend $25,000 just to find out whether your scouts were completely wrong about a guy, but it could happen, I guess.

*********
Let's not forget what Bowden said about Rule 5 guys regarding Flores. It's very rare for them to stick.

Wouldn't it be more likely these guys get a try out in spring and then get dropped by the Nats if they don't show anything?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 12:00 PM

Posted by: CE | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

506 (BM), that was exactly what I was thinking. There's no guarantee they're going to stick.

As for the 25-man posted above, what are we thinking about Ryan Wagner right now? He can't be moved - no one will take him. If he doesn't have options, do the Nats still use a roster spot on the guy?

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Here's what I would predict the roster is looking like in JimBo's mind - a dangerous place to be, I know.

1. Patterson
2. Hill
3. Bergmann
4. Chico/Starting Pitcher
5. Lannan/Starting Pitcher

6. Cordero/Relief Pitcher
7. Rauch/Relief Pitcher
8. Ayala
9. Schroeder
10. Wagner/Relief Pitcher
11. King/Bacsik/LHP

12. Young -1B
13. Lopez -2B
14. Zimmerman -3B
15. C. Guzman -SS
16. Flores -C
17. Catcher -C
18. Belliard -2B/SS
19. Whitney/Ut -Utility

20. Milledge -CF
21. WMP/Dukes -LF
22. Kearns/Dukes -RF
23. Logan/Dukes -OF
24. Langerhans/G. Guzman -OF

25. PH/Johnson

Don't forget that Johnson may very well still be on the DL at the beginning of next season. That would leave roster room. And then when he comes back, it would be wise to give him some rehab starts in AAA and also to give him some time in MLB not playing every day to work back into it.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

The video link on Nationals.com of Clippards debut against the Mets last year is impressive. Jon Miller & Joe Morgan on the call.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM | Report abuse

nook is fast, but not really a great basestealer. dukes can run as well, so nook isn't necessarily all that much of an upgrade over dukes as far as speed goes. besides, manny didn't exactly show himself to be a manager who runs a lot anyway.

can't see them keeping nook and putting dukes in AAA unless dukes just looks overmatched in spring training, which i don't expect.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 6, 2007 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Brian: You beat me to it. Great minds think alike, or at least remember painful experiences.

------
The only thing I can think of is the Nationals are still concerned about Johnson's rehab/recovery.

Whitney looks like Tony Blanco v2008 (Blanco was a RH power-hitting corner IF Rule 5 guy Bowden took in his first Rule 5 with the Nationals)

Posted by: Brian | December 6, 2007 11:58 AM

Posted by: Section 207 (former 418) | December 6, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

i take back the not a great basestealer, he runs better than i remember, looking at the numbers now. but still, i think that on this team, basestealing isn't the skill that gets you a roster spot.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 6, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse

i believe they'd get offered back to original team for $50k. if they don't want them we can send them to minors.

i agree, logan over angerhaaaaaands. but this team did just add a lot of speed in milledge and dukes. a healthy guzman and felipe and we can churn around the bases with the best of them. well, as long as dmitri isn't on base in front of anyone.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2007 12:09 PM | Report abuse


$25,000 is chump change. It's about 10 days salary for someone making major league minimum.

--------
Somehow it doesn't seem Lernerish to spend $25,000 just to find out whether your scouts were completely wrong about a guy, but it could happen, I guess.

*********
Posted by: CE | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM

Posted by: Section 307 (former 418) | December 6, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me: is it CLIP-ards or clip-PARDS?
**********
The video link on Nationals.com of Clippards debut against the Mets last year is impressive. Jon Miller & Joe Morgan on the call.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM

Posted by: ce | December 6, 2007 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Nationals have officially signed Aaron Boone to a one-year deal

Posted by: Brian | December 6, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Which does not gainsay the point, but that's true.
POI: Rule 5 guys have to be offered back to their old team for $25,000, thus forfeiting the other half of the claiming price.

**************
$25,000 is chump change. It's about 10 days salary for someone making major league minimum.
--------
Somehow it doesn't seem Lernerish to spend $25,000 just to find out whether your scouts were completely wrong about a guy, but it could happen, I guess.
*********
Posted by: CE | December 6, 2007 12:04 PM

Posted by: Section 307 (former 418) | December 6, 2007 12:10 PM

Posted by: ce | December 6, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

New post coming ... wait for it ...

Posted by: focusing | December 6, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

logan is terrible on the bases. i still remember that embarrasing 3rd base incident killing a beautiful bottom of the 9th comeback.

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Agreed that if Dukes doesn't pan out, it's probably NOT for game-performance, in which case he'd be out-and-out gone. But this is a guy they hope to have at 4 all year...the second the trade went through, Dukes became the guy with the most power/potential power on the entire roster...that's why the gamble was made.

Posted by: AJ | December 6, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

And what about Saul Rivera? 7-6 with a 3.58 ERA over 139 games for the Nats. Not astounding, but a possibility to sneak into the bullpen if Cordero is traded.

I like the situation with our bullpen.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 6, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

why do we keep signing fringe corner guys? is zimmerman hurt more than we think? that would be a dagger...

Posted by: longterm | December 6, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Ah, the "What was Nook Logan doing? What was he thinking?" call by Charlie Slowes. Instant classic.

----

logan is terrible on the bases. i still remember that embarrasing 3rd base incident killing a beautiful bottom of the 9th comeback.

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Brian, where did you get this?
***************
Nationals have officially signed Aaron Boone to a one-year deal

Posted by: AJ | December 6, 2007 12:19 PM | Report abuse

New post.

-----

Brian, where did you get this?

Posted by: John in Mpls | December 6, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

for a "worst case" utility infielder contingency, what about jorge cantu? he just got released. pretty sure he can play 1b,2b,3b. not SS, tho.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 6, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

A number of posters have been around the edges of what I fear is the problem. It appears that the FO is increasingly dubious about Johnson's ability to return. A number of these moves seem intended to make sure that there is adequate back up for DaMeat. Everything that I read says that they fear that, even if he can come back, he may not be ready for Viero (my that word sounds hopeful...Viero in February). If not in early Spring training, you're talking about, maybe, April 15 before serious baseball work and then probably a 2 week rehab assignment. You can easily be be discussing June 1 back on the big club. That would mean almost two years away from game condition MLB pitching. How long 'til he would get into a groove?

As far as Nook is concerned, he may have simply proved himself a classic AAA player. That is enough athleticism to play at a reasonably high level, but not enough ability (plate discipline?) to play regularly at the Major League level. That leaves him with either a clueless club, like Baltimore, or as a AAA player on someone's 40 man roster, with occasional call-ups because of injuries, etc. Neither of which makes sense for the Nats.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 6, 2007 12:37 PM | Report abuse

He's a classic broadcaster and should have a contract...

---------

Ah, the "What was Nook Logan doing? What was he thinking?" call by Charlie Slowes. Instant classic.

Posted by: Slowes' mom | December 6, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

yeah, only way Whitney makes sense is if either a) he can play 2b/ss and back up Belliard/Guzzie and/or FA 2b or b) Johnson doesn't start the season and he back up the Meat. THAT would make sense. Then if a) isn't an option and Johnson makes it back, you give Whitney back.

Posted by: Avar | December 6, 2007 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and Barry's at it again. Geez, Sverluga, don't you eat?

Posted by: ce | December 6, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

I guess you can never have too many Guzmans on your roster. JimBow is making this into the home for over-the-hill ex-Reds with the signing of Aaron Boone. Who's next? Jason LaRue to share catching with Flores? Sean Casey in case Nick can't make it back?

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 6, 2007 3:02 PM | Report abuse

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