Nationals Trade Deadline Moves

The Nationals front office was extremely busy Friday afternoon, trying to get deals done that would benefit the club. Here’s how it went:

 WASHINGTON NATIONALS ACQUIRE PAIR OF RIGHT-HANDED PITCHING PROSPECTS FROM ROCKIES 

    The Washington Nationals today acquired right-handed pitcher Ryan Mattheus and right-handed pitcher Robinson Fabian from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for left-handed pitcher Joe Beimel and cash considerations. 

            Mattheus was 1-3 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 appearances for Colorado’s top three affiliates this season before having “Tommy John” ligament-replacement surgery performed in early July. In 26.0 innings prior the surgery, Mattheus struck out 27–or 9.3 per 9.0 innings pitched–en route to recording a .250 (24-for-96) batting average against. 

            In five-plus minor league seasons in the Rockies’ high-altitude system, Mattheus is 29-40 with 17 saves and a 5.17 ERA en route to a nearly 2.0/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2003, he was drafted by Colorado in the 19th round out of Sacramento City College as a draft-and-follow. Thus, he did not sign with the Rockies and begin his professional career until May 30, 2004.

            Mattheus, currently 25 years-old, shifted to the bullpen for the first time in 2008 and his efforts were rewarded, as he represented the Rockies in both the 2008 Futures Game and the Double-A Texas League All-Star Game. He earned both citations by not only posting a 3.28 ERA in the Texas League, but also by leading Tulsa with 17 saves, striking out 8.7 batters per 9.0 innings and recording a heavy 2.4/1 ground ball-to-fly ball ratio.

              Fabian was 3-6 with a 6.24 ERA in 24 games (12 starts) with Asheville of the Single-A South Atlantic League at the time of the trade. In 83.2 innings, he fanned 54 and walked just 21, good for a 2.6/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

              In 2007, Fabian ranked among the Northwest League leaders in starts (first, 15), innings (fourth, 77.1) and a ERA (ninth, 3.96) while pitching for Single-A Tri-City. He has been assigned by the Nationals to Hagerstown of the Single-A South Atlantic League.

             The 23 year-old is 20-30 with a 5.08 ERA in 101 games (67 starts) in seven professional seasons.  Fabian–a native of La Victoria, Dominican Republic–was originally signed by Colorado as a non-drafted free agent, July 10, 2003.

             Beimel, 32, went 1-5 with 10 holds, one save and a 3.40 ERA in 45 appearances with Washington after signing as a free agent on March 18.

 WASHINGTON NATIONALS ACQUIRE LEFT-HANDED PITCHING PROSPECT FROM MARLINS

       The Washington Nationals today acquired left-handed pitcher Aaron Thompson from the Florida Marlins in exchange for first baseman Nick Johnson.

         A former first-round pick (22nd overall, 2005 First-Year Player Draft), Thompson went 5-9 with a 4.11 ERA in 20 starts this season with Jacksonville of the Double-A Southern League. He posted a .268 batting average against and 1.74/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio with 75 strikeouts and 43 walks in 114.0 innings. Entering this season, he was recognized as having the “Best Changeup” in the Marlins system by Baseball America. 

      In 95 career games (94 starts), Thompson has posted a 22-34 mark with a 4.00 ERA and 2.26/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (393 K/174 BB) in 506.0 innings.

           The 22-year-old was rated Florida’s No. 8 prospect by Baseball America entering the ’08 season. In 2006, he was a South Atlantic League All-Star en route to posting a 3.63 ERA in 24 starts with Single-A Greensboro.

           Johnson, 30, batted .295 with six home runs, 44 RBI and a .408 on-base percentage in 98 games this season with Washington.

Update: Elijah Dukes and Jorge Sosa will fill the two roster spots vacated by Friday’s trades of first baseman Nick Johnson and left-handed pitcher Joe Beimel to Florida and Colorado, respectively.

 

Dukes, a member of the Nationals’ Opening Day roster, rejoins the club after hitting .279 (19-for-68) with eight doubles, three home runs, 10 RBI and a .388 on-base percentage in 20 games with Syracuse. The 25-year-old batted .244 (47-for-193) with 13 doubles, a triple, six home runs, 30 RBI and two stolen bases in 57 games with Washington prior to being optioned on July 1.

 

Sosa join the Nationals for the first time. He appeared in 20 games (four starts) with Syracuse, going 1-2 with three saves and a 2.79 ERA.

 

 

 

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