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Trainer says Nationals not pursuing Jose Julio Ruiz

In Chico's story about the Nationals' effort to revitalize their international efforts, Stan Kasten said, "We have especially one guy we're very excited about who's very close to the bigs."

The player Kasten referred to may have been Rafael Martin, a 25-year-old reliever from the Mexican League. One player it was not is Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz, said Jesus Gallo, Ruiz's trainer.

Ruiz, 25, is still "under negotiations" and will pick from "six or seven" interested teams, Gallo said in a telephone conversation. The Nationals, Gallo said, have not shown any interest in Ruiz. But his services are still available.

"We have nothing concluded yet," said Gallo, who operates out of South Miami Sports Performance. "We thought we might be done with negotiations this week. They could take another week, two weeks."

By Adam Kilgore  |  February 26, 2010; 9:43 AM ET
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Why not? Supposedly a great athlete, and could step in very soon at 1B. Seems like he's a perfect fit for the Nats (especially 1-2 years from now)...

Posted by: jcville | February 26, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

I hope the reason we aren't pursuing him is because Rizzo plans on Dunn being on 1B for awhile and makes that happen

Posted by: SCNatsFan | February 26, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

You're probably right, SCFan, but I still think you've gotta be in on a young, relatively cheap guy who most agree could step into the bigs right away. He's valuable now, and with his athleticism could easily find a lineup spot in a year or two (if not at 1B, in the OF?). Or could be a great trade chip...

Posted by: jcville | February 26, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

There are all kinds of reasons not to be interested in a specific player ranging from talent evaluation, makeup, cost, age, organizational need, representation, and level of player current development. The statement of the obvious is of course that somewhere in these factors the Nats have made a concious decision to prioritize other opportunities. This is one you can safely say the Nationals were not in it to the end....

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 26, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

It would be hard for that kid to pick DC anyway. He wants an avenue to the bigs sooner than later. Dunn is here and Marerro is in the monors and there are a bunch of FA 1B's coming into the market in 2011. My guess is that he'll go for a club that will allow him to get to MLB as a 1B this season and which is unlikely to be looking for Calros Pena, Paul Konerko or someone comparable in 2011. SD maybe? -- Gonzalez is likely going to be moved. Oakland, Toronto?

Posted by: dfh21 | February 26, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I can't post at Mark Z's blog during the day due to various IT restrictions, but in response to his very fine call for a respectful and fond farewell to Chico I noted a couple of people gratuitously declined. I have already posted my appreciation for Chico here several times, but once more with feeing: Thanks Chico! You are unquestionably an exceptional writer. Your coverage was appreciated. Best of Luck!

Posted by: natbiscuits | February 26, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

We are not persuing him. I hear we are also not PURSUING him. Hmmmm....

Posted by: kfisher32 | February 26, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of a quick route to the bigs, what do these guys have in common -- Tony Conigliaro, Mickey Mantle, Al Kaline, Robin Yount, Dwight Gooden, Ken Griffey Jr. and Pudge Rodriguez.

All were productive major leaguers at 19. Granted, they're the exceptions -- quite literally, exceptional players. But it's not unheard of.

Point is, Harper, who will be 18 in October, might not be as distant an asset as some here think.

So, it will be fascinating to see whether Rizzo picks him, or a more-developed college pitcher, like Anthony Ranaudo, the 6-7 righty from LSU. Either way, it looks like we'll get another gem.

Posted by: Drew8 | February 26, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Fenerndao Valenzuela too? Not sure how old he was, but he looked about 12.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 26, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Man, my typing is terrible. Fernando, not Fenerndao?, was 19 as a September call up in 1980, and then lit the world on fire in 1981 at 20.

This club not being able to risk a failure from a no. 1 pick, I might take the college pitcher if it was at al lclsoe, but it soudns as if Harper is something special. We'll see how it works out.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 26, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

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