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Nationals make Rule 5 pick for Yankees

The Nationals just selected outfielder Jamie Hoffman from the Los Angeles Dodgers with the first pick of the Rule 5 draft, but will be sending the pick to the New York Yankees as the player to be named later in the Brian Bruney trade.

The Nationals also dropped a player from their 40-man roster in order to make room for the pick, but the team has not yet revealed who that player is.

[UPDATE] The Blue Jays just took right-hander Zech Zinicola from the Nationals' roster.

More later...

By Dave Sheinin  |  December 10, 2009; 9:05 AM ET
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That's a shame to lose Zech Zinicola as he was at one point a potential closer and most recently a good arm for the bullpen.

Posted by: dmacman88 | December 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Dana Brown strikes.

Posted by: softballgirl | December 10, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Yea, apparently the Jays also asked about Craig Stammen, but the Nats wouldn't trade him. Dana Brown is trying to establish Nationals North...

Posted by: SpashCity | December 10, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Tough to see Zincola go, as I thought he had a chance to be a good bullpen arm for the Nats. However, I think he struggled a bit this year, did he not?

Posted by: Cavalier83 | December 10, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Phil Wood's description of the Managers Lunch yesterday: "The Nationals' table featured manager Jim Riggleman, Nats' PR wizards John Denver and Mike Gazda, and the Nats' media here in Indy: Ben Goessling from the Times, Dave Sheinin from the Post, WTOP's Craig Heist,'s Bill Ladson, ESPN's Tim Kurkjian, and another guy who couldn't find a seat anywhere else. [ed. note: that would be Wood himself]"

You mean Chico Harlan the self-loathing metrosexual wants to be a food critic and he wouldn't even eat a free lunch?

Posted by: section309 | December 10, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Isnt Bruney an established reliever and potential closer, seems okay to me.

Posted by: Stu27 | December 10, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Remember guys, most Rule 5 picks end up not making it with the other team, with a good percentage returned at some point during spring training. There's a better than even chance that Zinicola will be back in the Nats organization within 6 months.

That's why I like the trade to New York with this pick. There are so few Rule 5 success stories that this could end us a "free" trade for the Nats.

Posted by: gmwelch | December 10, 2009 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Any news on who was dropped from the roster? I'm anxious to know.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | December 10, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

309; I guess I was on target. The DC Media Contingent could have easily fit snugly in that 11th Flr Marriott Suite Bathroom. Put Kerjian in the shower and let Heist sit on the bowl and plant Chico & Ben on the vanity and let damn Ladson, Wood and Shiner can stand nuts to butts. What a site!

John Denver? Man Rizzo has got power from above. Last I heard JD was at room temp, taking a permanent dirt nap. Yesterday he was enjoying a Cob Salad at the Downtown Indy Marriott. Hey Mike could you please leave the cord-wood alone and go and get us a starting pitcher!

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 10, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Was any of that funny?

Posted by: fischy | December 10, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Not particularly, IMO.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 10, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Saul Rivera was dropped for the Rule 5 pick/Bruney. Someone else will need to be dropped for Rodriguez once he passes his physical, but that won't happen until tomorrow probably.

The 40-man roster is apparently a fluid concept during the Winter Meetings. For instance, I saw rumors that the Nats may be talking trade with the Tigers since they will need to drop a couple of guys from the 42 they now have on the 40-man roster after the three way trade the other day.

Posted by: section309 | December 10, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

My guess for the droppees would be Bergey and Zack Segovia. Neither a grand loss, IMO.

Posted by: Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me | December 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

So if Hoffman doesn't make the Yankees roster, does he get returned to the Nats or the Blue Jays?

Posted by: stantonpark | December 10, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

More Rule 5 transaction info here:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 10, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I'm pretty sure he gets offered back to the Jays or the Yanks have to work out a trade. Hoffman must stay on a major league roster for the whole year (not including rehab assignments) and he's the Yankees problem now. They have to work it out with the Jays if the decide to keep him and send him down to the minors. I think they can either pay them cash or send them a player to complete the deal.

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 10, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, i meant the Dodgers. Hoffman came from the Dodgers, not the Jays

Posted by: jmurray019 | December 10, 2009 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, 1a.

Washington affiliates have been active in the AAA and AA phases of the Rule 5 draft as well. Syracuse picked up Arismendy Mota, a RHP from the DSL White Sox, Michael Wlodarczyk, a LHP from the Durham affiliate of Tampa Bay, and Nicholas Moresi, an OF from the Corpus Christi affiliate of Houston.

However, the GCL Nationals lost RHP Ruben De La Rosa to the Las Vegas affiliate of Toronto, Potomac lost RHP Terrence Engles to the Tacoma affiliate of Seattle, and Vermont lost RHP Johan Figueroa to the Binghamton affiliate of the Mets.

Posted by: faNATic | December 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

With the Royals releasing Mike Jacobs, we should jump on him and pick him up to backup the Big Donkey. God forbid that Dunn gets hurt this year and we're left with nothing. Jacobs has power and would be good off the bench, plus it would help ease the pain of trading away Willingham for some pitching (power wise).

Posted by: reverendnat | December 10, 2009 11:28 AM | Report abuse

I thought Mike Morse had established himself as the backup to Dunn.

Posted by: section309 | December 10, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Yea I think Morse is pretty much locked in as the back-up at 1B. I also read somewhere they were thinking about trying Flores out at 1B because it will be easier on his shoulder.

Posted by: SpashCity | December 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Beating a dead horse from a previous thread, I want to point out that Carpenter may not have destroyed the drama, but he definitely diminished the moment.

I would never argue that an announcer is supposed to create drama. But, at times, they should be relied upon to at least preserve that which the game has created. In this instance, Carpenter failed to do that.

Again, I would not call him a bad announcer. But it was a terrible call. And if you ask him, I'd bet that he would agree that it was not his best moment as an announcer.

Living out-of-market from my favorite teams, I have to rely on a lot of announcers to watch or listen to the good guys. And I think Washington should be grateful to have some of the very best in the business (Charlie and Dave for the Nats, as well as Joe B. for the Caps). (In contrast, the Redskins radio broadcast is among the worst ever.) I think the Carpenter/Dibble approach really worked this year, and I'd like to see them get the chance to cover a more competent team.

Hate the call, not the caller.


Their job is not to create drama, suspense, boredom or anything else. The game does that for itself. The best announcers get out of the way of that, but even the worst announcer can't destroy it.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

CoverageIsLacking among others has been pounding the "Pudge is no mentor" myth pretty hard the last few days. Well, local hero Tom Boswell just tore that one to shreds in his chat.

Germantown, Md.: How do you answer the critics who say Pudge has never shown the ability to develop young pitchers, he doesn't participate in meetings, that he calls too many fastballs with runners on base and that he's 38 and can't hit a lick anymore?

Tom Boswell: Nice to hear rom Jim Bowden.Most of those things aren't true and, because they are the standard rumors, I've asked over the years. He handled a young Marlins staff _-with Willis 21 and Beckett 23__ well enough to win the World Series. I've asked Jack McKeon about it. He loved his "handling" of that staff. Pudge has mssed some meetings. The "calls too many fastballs" is nonsense. That's the kind of you-can't-prove-it and you-can't-disprove-it but it makes me sound smart gossip that you'd hear from a Bowden.

As for can't hit a lick, he had nice solid .714 OPS in both '07 and '08. Last year he ticked down. So what? Maybe he ticks back up into the .700's and everybody says, "What a steal." The great players are only comparable to a handful of others who are like them. Look up Bob Boone and Carlton Fisk who both played deep into their 40's. (Pudge just turned 38.) Boone won four of his seven Gold Gloves and had a .295 season. Fisk had many fine hitting years __"bounce back," people said then.

What Pudge hit last year is the low end of the probabilty curve. The four previous seasons, when he wasn't young, he hit over .280 combined. He can bomb out. But $3M-a-year is a small gamble. That's less than the average MLB salary.

Posted by: section309 | December 10, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Looks like the Nats published the transaction; we released Zack Segovia today.

However, by my calculations we still have to drop one more guy when we announce the Rodriguez signing officially (he still has to pass his physical, so no 40-man move required yet).

My guess is that Nieves is the next to go.

Posted by: tboss | December 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

See the new post re. the Rule 5 draft and roster status.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Releasing Segovia took the roster to 39; Claiming Hoffman & shipping him to NYY leaves it at 39. Announcing Pudge's contract takes the roster back to 40.

Posted by: BinM | December 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

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