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Posted at 6:30 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Nationals add Chris Marrero, two relievers to 40-man roster

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals added three players to their 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft, and in the process they lost Juan Jaime, a promising right-handed pitcher recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The Nationals added to their 40-man roster Class AA Harrisburg first baseman Chris Marrero and right-handed pitchers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball, a former first-round pick and a pair of relievers who last pitched for Harrisburg and impressed during their stay in the Arizona Fall League.

If the Nationals had not made room on the 40-man roster for those players, they would have risked losing them in the Rule 5 draft because of their experience. Players become eligible for the Rule 5 draft if they are not on a major league team's 40-man roster and have either been with their original team for four years after signing at an age older than 18 or if they signed at 18 or younger and have been with the organization for five years.

The Nationals made room for the three players by removing Jaime from the 40-man roster earlier this week. They already lost him to the Diamondbacks, who today claimed Jaime on outright waivers. Jaime, 23, had a 2.42 ERA in 111 2/3 innings mostly as a starter in the lowest rungs of the minor leagues, reaching Hagerstown at the end of 2009. He missed all of 2010 after undergoing ligament-replacement surgery.

The Nationals now have a full 40-man roster, meaning they will need to release more players if and when they add free agents.

The Nationals may be taking a slight risk in making Class AA pitcher Brad Meyers available in the Rule 5 draft. He has been with the Nationals long enough to qualify for the Rule 5 draft. Meyers was the Nationals' top pitching prospect before Stephen Strasburg was drafted and a foot injury limited Meyers to six starts last season.

The Nationals, in effect, are hoping Meyer's relative inexperience and his injury prevents another team from carrying them on their active roster all season. Even if Meyers is taken by another team, he will return to the Nationals if that team does not keep him in the majors for the entirety of the 2011 season.

One more note about these minor transactions for the most die-hard Rule 5 geek: I initially thought Brad Peacock needed to be on the 40-man, since the Nats drafted him as an 18-year-old in 2006. But he was a draft-and-follow and did not sign until 2007, meaning he still has one more year to go before he's eligible.

By Adam Kilgore  | November 19, 2010; 6:30 PM ET
Categories:  minors & farm system  
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It is a sign of progress that we have to lose someone like Jaime to protect other prospects. It does make me wonder if it makes sense then to hold off signing free agents until the Rule 5 draft is over. The sad thought, too, is that Adam Dunn isn't on our 40-man anymore. He isn't a National any more than Cliff Lee is.


Posted by: kevincostello | November 19, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Its always interesting to see who does and does not get exposed in these situations ... and who ultimately gets drafted in rule 5. Predicting rule 5 results is one of the least accurate exercises every year. Maybe the Nats lose someone in the draft, maybe they create room on the roster and pick someone. In the end all the candidates get returned.

Posted by: natbiscuits | November 19, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

Small correction - Carr last pitched for the Syracuse Chiefs. He started the year at Harrisburg

Posted by: minorleaguefan | November 20, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

You're 99.9 percent right, Natbiscuits, but there's always exceptions to the rule, starting with Roberto Clemente and most recently, Johan Santana. Our own Flores could still be another good example. I don't think the Nats need to spend a roster spot on a Rule 5 this year, but then I don't know what kind of quality might be left exposed. It's not a very costly gamble, after all.

Posted by: nats24 | November 20, 2010 1:11 AM | Report abuse

Adam lost his roster spot, but he gets to keep his vintage old jersey. The Nata have a new look, and big one-tool donks aren't fashionable anymore. Hard to feel sad about that, ya know?

Posted by: howjensen | November 20, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

I want no part of Crawford. Love the player, hate the price. Posted by: dfh21 | November 19, 2010 7:33 PM

Kev29, where are you to call out Lerner Syndrome on this?

Posted by: EdDC | November 20, 2010 11:55 AM | Report abuse

>It is a sign of progress that we have to lose someone like Jaime to protect other prospects.

Posted by: kevincostello

You gotta be kidding. The guy is 23, never pitched above low A ball, and he's coming off TJ surgery, right? What's the big deal?

Posted by: Brue | November 20, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm more dissapointed that the Nationals held the rights to the likes of JD Martin, Mattheus, Maxwell, Mock, & Nieves, to either lose or expose players like Jaime, Meyers, Wilkie & others to the Rule-5 draft. Maybe Rizzo sees is as a "six of one, half-dozen of the other" situation.

IMHO, if two players are near-equal, you go with the younger player.

Posted by: BinM | November 20, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

IMHO, if two players are near-equal, you go with the younger player***********

Not in total agreement here what about the older players experience, they may be equal now but his years may have him on the verge of brekout so to make a blanket statement like that I think is inaccurate. Many players,pitchers especially take much time to hone and learn their craft in the minors,but once the light switch turns on they quickly let management know where their talent truly may take them,so youth is a simplified part of the equation. All said this does not mean the switch will turn on, so if you have a younger pitcher of as you say equal talent,what exactly measures said talent as equal,results in the minors,past history,radar gun readings? I think you have likely got my drift here this is such an inexact science to which no one has even remotely figured it out, in fact luck is a big a part of it as any. All of these kids are supremely talented,but some get hurt,some get to be head cases,and some simply can't make it,on the other hand some over-achieve,some surprise the hell out of us and others figure out how to be pitchers and not throwers. All said your simplistic reasoning is NOT the answer at all.

Posted by: mfowler1 | November 20, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

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