What latest roster moves say about Nats' player development


The Nationals made a handful of roster moves yesterday, headlined by officially announcing re-signing right-hander Erasmo Ramirez to a one-year deal. To make room on the 40-man roster, right-hander they designated Gerardo Carrillo for assignment.

Also part of the news dump was the Nats announcing they agreed to terms on a one-year contract with Tanner Rainey, avoiding arbitration, and that Lucius Fox cleared outright waivers and has been assigned to Triple-A Rochester. The Nats designated Fox for assignment last week when they claimed right-hander A.J. Alexy off waivers from the Rangers. A lot of moving parts for a simple one-year signing. But you can’t blame general manager Mike Rizzo for getting as much work done as possible before the holidays.

While we shouldn’t expect more news the rest of the week (my famous last words while I’m covering for Mark Zuckerman through Christmas), we can look back on the changes made to the Nationals roster so far this offseason and what they mean in the big picture.

Carrillo was the second of the four players the Nationals received from the Dodgers in exchange for Max Scherzer and Trea Turner at the 2021 deadline to be designated for assignment this year. The Nats designated Donovan Casey for assignment in August when they claimed left-hander Jake McGee from the Brewers. Casey cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Rochester two days later.

After a year that was limited to 21 appearances overall due to injuries and saw him post an 11.32 ERA in 10 games at Double-A Harrisburg, Carrillo is expected to take a similar route as Casey and Fox, going unclaimed on waivers and being re-assigned to one of the Nats’ minor league affiliates.

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Winter Meetings Day 3: Rule 5 draft, Judge returns to Yankees (Nats select Ward)


It’s hard to believe, but we’re already at the last full day of the Winter Meetings. The Rule 5 draft is the last event of the week and marks the end of baseball’s biggest offseason gathering.

In years past, the Rule 5 draft has been held on the Thursday morning of the Winter Meetings. But they bumped it up to Wednesday afternoon this year, meaning there probably won’t be a whole lot of commotion tomorrow morning before everyone leaves for the airport.

The Nationals are expected to make their first pick in the Rule 5 draft in 12 years with the No. 1 overall pick later today. Thanks to a decade of success, they didn’t feel the need to use a spot on their active roster on a fringe major league player.

Mark Zuckerman had a preview of the Rule 5 draft this morning and check back for the selection later today.

Elsewhere in the baseball world, the big news earlier this morning was Aaron Judge agreeing to return to the Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million deal, multiple outlets confirmed.

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Revolving outfielders have more to prove over final weeks


Even with two extra spots in September, the Nationals are currently only carrying four true outfielders on their active roster. That’s usually the standard for any team: three starters and one backup on the bench.

But manager Davey Martinez, in fact, has utilized six players in the outfield since the roster shakeup at the trade deadline.

Victor Robles and Lane Thomas have been in Washington all season long. Joey Meneses (typically a first baseman) and Josh Palacios were brought up to fill the holes left by Juan Soto and Josh Bell, with Palacios making a couple of trips back-and-forth between the majors and Triple-A Rochester. Alex Call was selected off waivers from the Guardians on Aug. 7. And utilityman César Hernádez has appeared in left field four times to start September.

This is part of the process for the Nationals to see what they have in these players before the season ends in three weeks.

For the most part, they know what they have in Robles, who you may have noticed has not played since Sept. 7 in St. Louis. He was scratched from the starting lineup with a stiff neck the following day, but has been seen walking around the Nationals clubhouse this week with seemingly no issues.

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Nats make roster moves after mega trade with Padres

palacios blue jays

The big news of the day, of course, is Juan Soto and Josh Bell being dealt to the Padres in exchange for six players, including five top prospects. But the Nationals had to make other roster moves to both make room for incoming players and fill an active 26-man roster for tonight’s game against the Mets.

The flurry of moves: 

* Selected the contract of first baseman Joey Meneses from Triple-A Rochester
* Recalled outfielder Josh Palacios from Rochester
* Transferred left-hander Evan Lee to the 60-day injured list
* Designated left-hander Josh Rogers for assignment
* Optioned shortstop C.J. Abrams to Triple-A Rochester

Abrams, one of the top prospects coming to the Nationals organization in today’s trade, was the both the Padres’ No. 1 prospect and the No. 9 prospect in all of baseball entering this season, according to both Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com.

He made San Diego’s opening day roster and his major league debut this season, starting the second game of the season at shortstop. He hit .232 with five doubles, two home runs, 11 RBIs, four walks, one stolen base and 16 runs scored in 45 games across two major league stints with the Padres.

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