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Posted at 2:13 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

Nationals trade Justin Maxwell to Yankees

By Adam Kilgore

Updated 3:35 pm: The Nationals announced that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Adam Olbrychowski from the New York Yankees in exchange for outfielder Justin Maxwell. The Nationals also outrighted right-handed pitcher Shairon Martis to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. Martis will be a non-roster invitee at big league Spring Training.

From the news release:

Olbrychowski went 3-2 with four holds, one save and a 3.90 ERA in 32 games/one start last season with Tampa of the Single-A Florida State League and Trenton of the Double-A Eastern League. During the last two seasons (2009-10), the 24-year-old is a combined 6-4 with seven holds, one save and a 3.31 ERA in 65 games/three starts at Single-A and Double-A.
Olbrychowski is 16-17 with eight holds, two saves and a 4.17 ERA in 100 games/35 starts during his career. He was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft out of Pepperdine University.
Maxwell, 27, batted .201 with nine homers and 26 RBI in 122 games over three seasons (2007, 2009-10) with Washington.

Original post: Less than a week after designating outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment, the Nationals have traded him to the New York Yankees, according to a tweet by the agency that represents Maxwell. It is not yet known what the Nationals received in return in the minor deal.

The trade officially ends the the six-year Nationals tenure of Maxwell, an Olney native and Maryland alum who could not fulfill his vast potential. The Nationals drafted Maxwell in the fourth round in 2005. He reached the majors for the first time in 2007 but appeared in only 122 games for the Nationals. Last year, he went 15 for 104 (.144) with 15 walks and three home runs.

The Nationals designated Maxwell in order to make room on the 40-man roster for newly acquired reliever Todd Coffey. Once they designated Maxwell, they had 10 days to trade him, release him or assign him to the minor leagues.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 2, 2011; 2:13 PM ET
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Next: Nationals sign Cla Meredith, Alex Cora to minor league contracts


So long Justin. Best of luck.

Now moving right along...

Posted by: KilgoreQTrout | February 2, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Good luck to Maxwell, even if he will be in pinstripes.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 2, 2011 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Hard to imagine what we'll get for him. A Derek Jeter bobblehead doll maybe?

Posted by: thelonghaul | February 2, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I think we're getting 2 seats in the Legends section for a 3 game set against Seattle.
In seriousness, it's good that Rizzo is able to get anything of value for JMax.

Posted by: Sunderland | February 2, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

haha, it's this guy, per MLBTR:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 2, 2011 2:39 PM | Report abuse

(And I'd probably bring a ballpoint pen and a dried up bottle of white-out. :-))

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 2, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

(And my haha related to the snark rather than to the traded player.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 2, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

At least he won't be in our league and won't be hitting grand slams against us!Good luck to Justin.

Posted by: poncedeleroy | February 2, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Another fireballing power pitcher ... wonder if he will be converted back to a starter now that he has lowered his walks in 2010?

Bio: A hard-throwing right-hander out of Pepperdine University, the Yankees took Olbrychowski in the fifth round of the 2007 draft. That round also included Orioles starter Jake Arrieta, Athletics prospect Michael Taylor, Blue Jays starter Marc Rzepczynski, Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon and Angels shortstop Andrew Romine, whose brother, Austin, may be familiar to Yankees fans.

In 2007 and 2008, Olbrychowski worked as a starter. He accumulated a 10-13 record with 123 strikeouts against 74 walks in 156 2/3 innings. After the conversion to the bullpen, the control problems still remained. He walked 40 in 58 innings but still managed to earn a very late promotion to Double-A, after the Thunder were eliminated from the Eastern League playoff race.

2010 season: Because of the control issues and a bit of a reliever logjam (which also kept Josh Schmidt at Double-A for most of the year), Olbrychowski did a near full repeat of High-A Tampa this season. He cut down on the walks (27 in 59 innings), and brought his high-octane gas to Trenton for last part of the year and the playoffs. In fact, he threw the final pitch of Division Series against the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (see video above).

Posted by: periculum | February 2, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like a job for player development.

"After striking out just 20 in 41 innings for Pepperdine this spring, Olbrychowski dominated Clark Griffith hitters, going 4-2, 1.10 with a 56-17 strikeout-walk ratio in 49 innings. His physical 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame allows him to maintain his 89-92 mph velocity late into games, and his fastball has good movement. Olbrychowski didn't really need his secondary stuff to get hitters out this summer, but his mid-70s curveball seemed to get better as the summer progressed, and he flashed a few low-80s changeups as well."

Posted by: periculum | February 2, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

>>It is not yet known what the Nationals received in return in the minor deal.--Kilgore

>>it's this guy, per MLBTR: Posted by: natsfan1a1

Does any1 else think it's strange that the posters on this blog usually have more info than our WAPO so called Nats insider??!!

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | February 2, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I've got a Sherwood High school yearbook from the year Justin graduated. I was hoping he would stick with the Nats and lead them to about 10 pennants in his career before entering the Halls of Cooperstown. When I saw he was designated for assignment, I thought, great, how much can I get for a 5th outfielder for Cleveland or KC? But now with the Yankees, there is hope in my wallet again. If anyone is interested, I'll let the Yearbook and a copy of the Washington Post article announcing the trade go for an easy $150.00. Let me know.

Posted by: garyolney | February 2, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I believe obtaing a Speed Baller with control issues for someone who has worn out his options was a good trade by Rizzo. As Peric noted this is a development project, as is, I would add, Maxwell for the Yanks. Much sucess to both teams player development staffs!!

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | February 2, 2011 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Seems like a perfectly logical trade of two guys with no options left in their current organization. Plus, trading for a guy named Olbrychowski indicates the front office has increased confidence in its jersey spell check system (sorry, couldn't resist)...

Posted by: baltova1 | February 2, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Nats never really gave Justin a chance. I hope he bats 400 with The Yankees. Justin was and is a class act. I will miss seeing him play -- the few times they put him in the game.

Posted by: Nonnie1993 | February 2, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Shades of the Albaladejo for Clippard trade back at the end of '07...

Not saying Olbrychowski will pan out... but I would think throwing a potentially strong arm into your system for a guy you effectively had released is a pretty strong move.

Maxwell looked smooth in the field... but, man, he could looks just clueless at the plate... and then, every once in a while, BAM, he would surprise you. Too bad he couldn't put it together in Washington... but, also happy that we aren't rolling into 2011 depending on Maxwell to be part of our OF mix.

Posted by: Ghost7 | February 2, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

I'll never forget Maxwell's grand slam with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Mets in the final home game of the 2009 season. It was a thrill to be there, watching the ball carry into the left field bleachers.

Posted by: GrandstandAnalyst | February 2, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Maxwell will look good in pinstripes. Maybe someone there can teach him to hit major league fastballs? You never know. He pretty much has all the other tools. But time is running out for the guy and he will likely make the major league roster as a backup because of his plus arm and fielding.

Posted by: periculum | February 2, 2011 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Three words: laser eye surgery.
Maybe the kid just wasn't seeing the ball.

Posted by: dannykurland1 | February 2, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

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