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Three Added To Roster

The Nationals today added three prospects to their 40-man roster, a means to protect those players from next month's Rule 5 Draft.

Those added to the roster:

* OF LEONARD DAVIS, 24 -- Davis won the organization's offensive player of the year award in 2008, when he hit a combined .310 with 25 HR and 76 RBI while playing for the top three affiliates in Washington's system. An eighth-round selection in the 2004 draft, Davis is currently playing in the Arizona Fall League.

* P LUIS ATILANO, 23 -- Atilano rose in 2008 from Class A Hagerstown to Class AA Harrisburg and went a combined 5-2 with a 2.50 ERA in 24 games, 15 of them starts. The Braves drafted Atilano in the first round (35th overall) in 2003, and traded him to Washington in the 2006 deal for Daryle Ward.

* SS IAN DESMOND, 23 -- Desmond, selected in the third round of the 2004 draft, spent the bulk of the most recent season at Class AA Harrisburg, where he hit .251 with 12 HR and 44 RBI in 323 at bats.

As a note... all three of these players would have been eligible for the Rule 5 Draft had they not been added to the 40-man roster. If you're interested in the nitty-gritty of how a player is/isn't eligible for this, click here -- and yes, it's dated (note the old-school motif), but it's still accurate, and relatively well-condensed.

By Chico Harlan  |  November 10, 2008; 12:04 PM ET
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Next: Washington Pulls Off Trade With Florida


Chico - Those Rule 5 draft rules are close but not 100% accurate. MLB changed the timeframes for each grouping, giving the teams one extra years. It is now

A player not on a team's Major League 40-man roster is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if: the player was 18 or younger when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fifth Rule 5 draft since he signed, OR if he was 19 or older when he first signed a pro contract and this is the fourth Rule 5 draft since he signed.

Easy way to look at it. College players drafted in 2005 or earlier are eligble; High school players drafted in 2004 or earlier. Anyone drafted 2003 or earlier.

Posted by: Brian_ | November 10, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Chico - don't let the lack of comments for your last two blogs throw you off. We care very much about these updates and are checking in regularly. Many of us are contemplating season ticket renewals, deposits due 11/21 and full payment due by 12/12, and the Nats progress between now and then is important. They had better give us something ot cheer about and these roster moves are important indicators about what they are preparing to do. 1st base is clearly going to see action and soon. The Dimitri Young move tells us that.

Please keep at it and report any way you can. Even if the Post won't sell more wood with stories right now, your readership will be more loyal to the Post if we get teh goods now. Go get'em.

Posted by: GregHerrick | November 10, 2008 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Diamond Ian Desmond.

If I keep saying it, it will catch on.

Diamond Ian Desmond.

Posted by: JohninMpls | November 10, 2008 2:31 PM | Report abuse

A's likely to trade for Holliday:

Posted by: Section506 | November 10, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Please sign Tex.

Posted by: 6thandD | November 10, 2008 2:56 PM | Report abuse


Please, stop it. I too dream of Tex; we all do. But it will never, and I repeat never, happen. With an ever ever ever thrown in for good measure. Sorry. But there is no way he will turn down the Yank's, Red Soxs and Angels for us.


Posted by: soundbloke | November 10, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

According to Steve Adams from, via John Perratto from Basebal Prospectus: Perrotto says the Nationals will land Mark Teixeira, as they could be prepared to offer Teixeira - a Maryland native - ten years, $200MM. Turning down that kind of money would certainly be difficult.

Buster Olney is also reporting that the Angels are looking to offer around 6-7 years at 20 mil per. Seems like if the Nats can perhaps get up to 10 years for 21 or 22 a year, that extra 33-36 mil over the life of the contract may be hard to turn down.

On the other hand, if Manny gets a 4 year deal at 25 per, it will be hard to hook Tex with that extra 3-4 years. He would be a free agent again at 34 or 35 and be right in line for another huge deal.

We shall see.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 10, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Switch that, Perrato via Adams.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 10, 2008 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I'd be shocked if Tex took a lesser offer to play for a more competitive team. The combination of his relationship with the players union and his agent reinforce the idea that all teams have a shot if they put out the cash.

I hold out some semblance of hope the Nats will fork over the considerable dough necessary. There is the obvious value to the team and the fanbase. Plus, all the player extensions except Guzmans expire after this coming season. Thats over $20 mil right there for two non productive 1B, two non productive OF & a UI.

Posted by: LosDoceOcho | November 10, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

It's true $250MM doesn't buy what it used to, but even then, paying ARod a quarter of a billion dollars (!!!) didn't help the Rangers, because they weren't one player away, and they couldn't pay two or three (nevermind the five or six they needed) that kind of dough. Neither can the Lerners, even if they would.

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 10, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You forgot the Cubs.
Hmmm. Yes, they have Lee, but if they sign Texiera, what do you suppose the LAAs/A would give Chicago for him? Of course, there is a small matter of that no-trade clause ... apparently, Lee *really, really* REALLY doesn't want to be traded.

But there is no way he will turn down the Yanks, Red Sox, and Angels for us. Ever!
Posted by: soundbloke | November 10, 2008 3:18 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | November 10, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Here's a different perspective on what the Nationals are doing; driving up the market value of their season tickets.

I'm a season ticket holder; I front for 8 seats in the infield box. We got screwed in the seat relocation from RFK->Nationals stadium, got a price increase to $60/seat and then had to endure some of the worst professional baseball I've ever seen en route to a 102 loss season.

We've already lost half my group, and are ready to throw in the towel on the entire package. Now ask yourself; how many others are in my position? Basically everyone not having the words "LLC or Corporation" in their name got screwed in the relocation. Why would any of us re-up to pay some of the highest prices in the majors to watch a horrible team?

What percentage of season ticket holders do they anticipate losing given the relocation nightmare, the awfulness of the team, the ridiculously high prices AND the burgeoning economic nightmare?

My cynical view: season ticket deposits are being paid now. The front office is linking themselves to every big name to garner interest and keep season ticket sales from dropping 50% from last year's numbers.

In the end: its all BS. I'll bet we sign nobody big. We've already lost Holliday to Oakland. Teixeira goes to Boston or someone with a committment to winning. Sabathia to NY, Dunn goes to a contender like he wants to, Fielder stays in Milwaukee, the Yankees overpay for Burnett.

And the nats have a 12,000 season ticket base next year with nobody to blame but themselves.

Posted by: tboss | November 10, 2008 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Is this too warm and fuzzy to be possible, or does anyone think some wonderful player might sign with us in part because Washington is a pretty exciting place right now? (Well, depending on how one feels about Obama it is.) BTW my boyfriend and I have already paid our deposit for our 2009 21-game plan. Didn't think twice about it.

Posted by: Section109 | November 10, 2008 6:04 PM | Report abuse

If people want to drop season tickets, I'm sure that will send a message. However, it could just be that the Nats are actually clear on the point that if they don't do something, they definitely will lose that season ticket base. The Lerners may be a lot of things, but bad businessmen they are not. I choose to believe that they are actually beginning to listen to Stan Kasten, who is probably telling them that if they don't get a draw, the butts aren't in the seats this year. Which means the concessions aren't there. Which together mean that they don't make any money. The Lerners may not be great baseball people, but they are good businessmen. They understand that Wins=$$$.

So, rather than crying about the fact that we couldn't land Holliday, I'm going to hope that they can pull something together for Teixeira. In all reality, I believe that he'll end up in pinstripes, but if I have nothing to hope for, doesn't make sense to even root for the Nats.

Most of us have stuck by the 'Skins through the last 17 years of futility. I'm not bailing on the Nats after 1.

Posted by: Cavalier83 | November 10, 2008 6:37 PM | Report abuse

ESPN is saying we traded Bonifacio and a Minor Leaguer to the Marlins for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham.

Posted by: MrMadison | November 10, 2008 8:05 PM | Report abuse

I just finished reading that on espn website also, but i thought it was 2 minor leaguers

Posted by: PGM17 | November 10, 2008 8:12 PM | Report abuse

bonafacio, minor league pitcher & ss that is

Posted by: PGM17 | November 10, 2008 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Bonifacio, Jake Smolinski(SS), and PJ Bean(P).

Posted by: MrMadison | November 10, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

PJ Dean, Jake Smolinski and Boni. PJ and Jake are 19, and put up decent numbers in two short seasons.
Man, I'm gonna miss Boni blazing around the bases. Add Olsen to the list of headcases in the clubhouse.

Posted by: phishisgr8 | November 10, 2008 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Dean, sorry. PJ Dean.

Posted by: MrMadison | November 10, 2008 8:22 PM | Report abuse

In essence Rauch for Willingham and Olsen? Works for me. Hope this means a Kearns move is in the offing.

Posted by: leetee1955 | November 10, 2008 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Good moves with Davis and Atilano. They could have lost these guys. I doubt Desmond would make a major league roster right now...

Maybe Willingham will gave way to Davis in short order...or maybe J-Max will get it going next year....

Posted by: fischy | November 10, 2008 11:53 PM | Report abuse

The Nats won't be able to move Kearns until the trade deadline if another team has an injury and needs a defensive RF with some experience. That $8M salary is just too much for anyone to take on for a guy that has trouble staying above .250.

That should not however influence the Nationals plans. I would go ahead and re-arrange the outfield to start Dukes in CF, Milledge in LF and Willingham in RF and make Kearns the #4.

I would still be on the lookout for a power hitting first baseman to add to Willingham.

This was a good trade for Washington because Olsen OR Willingham was worth what the Nationals gave up.

To get them both was somewhat surprising.

Posted by: leopard09 | November 11, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

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