Nats Make Minor League Trade
Let the hot stove (or at least the mildly warm stove) begin. To kick off the league's annual GM meetings (Monday-Thursday, in Dana Point, Calif.), the Nats have swapped minor leaguers with the Chicago Cubs. Here's the deal:
ACQUIRED BY WASHINGTON -- RHP Matt Avery
ACQUIRED BY CHICAGO -- LHP Ryan Buchter
For Avery, 25, this is something of a homecoming -- or at least it will be, if ever he advances to the big leagues. He's a Fairfax, Va., who attended the Landon School in Bethesda, Md. A 2005 ninth-round pick and a college teammate of Ryan Zimmerman at Virginia, Avery lifetime is 13-12 with a 3.56 ERA in 147 games, none above Class AA. Avery split the 2008 season between Class A and Class AA. In 32 games (and one start) with Class AA Tennessee in '08, Avery had a 4-2 record, a 4.45 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP. Seems his biggest difficulty is getting the ball over the plate. In 66-2/3 innings, he walked 35.
Buchter had been selected by the Nats in the 33rd round of the 2005 draft. He spent much of last year with Class A Hagerstown, where in 13 games (all as a reliever) he had a 2-2 record and a 3.26 ERA. He'll turn 22 in February.
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