Lefty Braymer is Nats’ lone addition to 40-man roster

The Nationals have added Ben Braymer to their 40-man roster, protecting the minor league left-hander from being swooped up by another club in next month’s Rule 5 draft.

Facing an 8 p.m. Eastern time deadline to add prospects to their 40-man roster, the Nats so far have only announced the selection of Braymer, who went 4-10 with a 4.53 ERA in 26 starts between Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Fresno this season.

Braymer-Waves-AFL-Fall-Stars-Game-Sidebar.jpgBraymer, 25, was an 18th round draft pick in 2016 who was named the organization’s co-Pitcher of the Year in 2018 while at Single-A Hagerstown and Potomac. He opened this season at Double-A and excelled with a 2.51 ERA and 0.975 WHIP in 13 starts, earning a promotion to Triple-A.

As was the case for many others pitching in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League, Braymer’s numbers suffered. In 13 starts for Fresno, he had a 7.50 ERA and 1.933 WHIP. After allowing only seven homers in 79 innings at Double-A, he allowed 18 in only 60 innings at Triple-A.

Braymer’s addition still leaves the Nationals with only 31 players on their 40-man roster. They have a host of veteran free agents who either must be re-signed or replaced this winter, but they could have chosen to use another spot or two on other prospects like Braymer.

In the end, the club decided to risk losing prospects like right-hander Sterling Sharp, catcher Taylor Gushue and outfielder Rhett Wiseman in next month’s Rule 5 draft.

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