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Nats lose Meyers, Komatsu in Rule 5 draft

Dec 8, 2011, 3:18 PM EDT

Updated at 11:06 a.m.

DALLAS — The Nationals lost two prospects this morning in the Rule 5 draft, watching as the Yankees took right-hander Brad Meyers and the Cardinals took outfielder Erik Komatsu away from them.

The Nats did not select any players themselves in the draft.

Meyers, 26, had been a reliable starter in the Nationals' farm system and went 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA and a stellar 116-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 games this season, most of them at Class AAA Syracuse.

The Nationals' minor-league pitcher of the year in 2009, Meyers had since seen several other prospects — Brad Peacock, Tommy Milone, Sammy Solis, among others — leapfrog him on the organizational depth chart.

"You can only protect so many players, and we felt … that we have enough depth to absorb if we were to lose a starting pitcher or two," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We actually anticipated losing more than one starter in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft. It goesRead more ยป

  1. Steady Eddie - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    Mark — what do you think the likelihood is that the Nats get either of these guys back by the end of ST? Neither Cards nor Yanks are bottom-feeders so these guys would really need to be MLB ready to make it onto the 25 man. Maybe Meyers is close, but for the Yanks?

  2. Constant Reader - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:37 PM

    So the New York freakin' Yankees took a Nats AAA pitcher that we couldn't find room to bring up in September because of the pitchers ahead of him? I like the sound of that. And now to spend time hoping we all aren't watching him excel in pinstripes while we wonder why on earth Maya held down a roster spot.

  3. Nattydread - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:38 PM

    It says something when other teams are combing through our farm during the Rule 5 draft. Progress.

  4. psdfx - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:39 PM

    On the two Rule 5 losses: the cost of a deeper farm system. It is a bummer to be on the other end, isn't it…– Re: Buehrle…Someone posted these two stat lines yesterday, and I hadn't seen the comparison…2011:Mark Buehrle (32): 13-9, 3.59 (9.7/2.0/4.8)John Lannan (26): 10-13, 3.70 (9.5/3.7/4.7)Here's where I differ from all who are screaming Rizzo blew it (and I may even differ from Rizzo himself here):I think most of us agree it would be mildly miraculous for us to be a serious WS contender in 2012. We might make the playoffs, true, and anything can happen, true, but (even if we DID have Buehrle and the magically perfect CF) it would not be likely. So we are still on the upswing—we are not peaking yet, not even close—so I really do *not* want a 32 year old pitcher who will be old by the time we get to our real window. What we need to do—MUST do—is to see what we actually have in Millone/Detwiler/Peacock—and/or even Purke. What if Millone is every bit as good this season, and insanely more cost effective, than Buehrle? What if Detwiler's last few starts of 2011 were an indicator of things to come? What if Purke gets here FAST? Count me in the camp of being very happy that Buehrle didn't sign here (ESPECIALLY for four years). I'd be thrilled if we (and will be hoping that we do) make the playoffs this year, but it seems to me this year must still be seen as a building year… a year in which we figure out what pieces we REALLY need to jump from the "rising" category we are in now to the "contender" category (assuming Harper and Rendon pan out, RZ and Morse keep producing, and Espi, Ramos, etc also develop as expected).Call me crazy, I'd like to think we could be a contender in 2013 if everything breaks right–but THIS year, I'd much rather see Millone trot out there every 5th day … or Peacock … or Detwiler — than a guy who won't be around when we actually start contending.

  5. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:45 PM

    Is anyone else sad to see Pujols jump to the Angels? The AL makes sense for him and all that, but it was always a thrill to watch him hit. When I read the news it hit me how much I want Zimmerman locked up longer too.

  6. rmoore446 - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:47 PM

    psdfx: You make some persuasive arguments in your post here and some of your posts yesterday.

  7. Oldguy - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Excellent points, psd. For all those who are still grousing about losing Buerhle, that it was somehow a "failure" on Rizzo's part, let's recall this. Two big time moves in the last few years were keyed on the wishes of the player's' wives. Let's assume that Buerhle has a wife and kids AND that she decided that Miami was a better place to live than Washington because of proximity to beaches or K Street or whatever. The point is that none of us, nor Rizzo, for that matter, will ever know exactly what went into Buerhle's decision.I still like what Davey said. Let's keep building from within.

  8. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    I think Rizzo has a trade up his sleeve, today maybe. Adam Jones for a couple of ptiching prospects and maybe Lombo. Wild guess.dfh21

  9. Theophilus - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM

    When Albert gets old and starts to look more like Prince Fielder — and he's already workin' on it — he can DH, if he can still get his hands around his middle on a fastball.

  10. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    Losing Meyers REALLY makes me dislike Doug Slaten even more now.

  11. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    I said Komatsu had the best chance of being snagged as he is a position player. Chances are both will be returned at the end of Spring Training so I won't sweat either.

  12. fpcsteve - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:55 PM

    It will be interesting to see what the Cardinals and Brewers do next year without their big mashers. Too bad about Komatsu–he sounded like someone who would have helped us sooner than later. Raiding the Nats for players–who woulda thunk it?

  13. The Joker - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:57 PM

    Bixler and now Meyers and Komatsu. But Slaton……lives on. Forgive me for slitting my wrists.

  14. John C. - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:58 PM

    NatsJack, as much as I agree with you about Slaten, the Nationals have three open slots on the 40 man roster. So Slaten had nothing to do at all with their losing Meyers.I doubt that Meyers lasts the season with the Yankees; he's more likely to find himself in the Brian Broderick role for a while before being offered back to the Nationals. I think that, since Meyers is a RH command/control guy with fringy stuff the Nationals are willing to have a rotation spot in Syracuse open up for a prospect with more upside.

  15. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    Oh, and who believes Pujols is really 31? I don't. When he starts heading south (if that hasn't already begun), that trip may go fast. Ten years is a long contract. But he got ARod money which apparently was important to him.

  16. Binx Bolling - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Yankees made a good move. The Orioles could have used Meyers. He's probably better than all but two of the Orioles current starters. Just goes to show how badly the Baltimore Orioles are run.

  17. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

    Well, the Yankees are probably still a little ticked about Clippard.

  18. Theophilus - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    On Nats Prospects a couple of days ago, I finally saw an outsider's assessment on Meyers (86-92 FB, avg. other stuff) and it persuaded me losing him would not be a catastrophe. So many injuries, who knows how long it will take for him to develop, if ever. Yankees already have a very deep bullpen — Rivera, Soriano, Robertson, Chamberlain, Logan, at least — so they could probably bury Meyers in the sixth or seventh spot if they wanted to. But then what?

  19. slidell - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    So, essentially, the Cards and Yanks each paid $50K for a long Spring Training look-see in the hope that they might hit pay-dirt.Meyers has some chance of sticking, given the Yankees bullpen situation.

  20. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:08 PM

    Oh, and who believes Pujols is really 31? I don't. Why not? He was 16 when he came to the United States, played high school ball–how much older could he be?

  21. Theophilus - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Sorry to harp on it but, if Cards took Komatsu, doesn't it seem even more likely they would trade Schumaker?

  22. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa said… Oh, and who believes Pujols is really 31? I don't. Why not? He was 16 when he came to the United States, played high school ball–how much older could he be?Oh, I'd say 38, give or take a fortnight. Given the Leo Nunez/Smiley debacles, does anybody believe anything about any Latin player's background these days. I don't.

  23. Theophilus - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    The Nats need at least four players who aren't currently on the 40-man roster — a CF (Ankiel?), RH OF-IB and a LH OF, and backup infielder. So there'll be plenty of opportunity to get rid of Slaten.

  24. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Given the Leo Nunez/Smiley debacles, does anybody believe anything about any Latin player's background these days. I don't. Yeah, I figured it was something like that.

  25. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    John C…. Thanks for pointing that out. I'm really not that upset at losing these two. Actually, I'm more impressed by who took the flyer on them and agree with Steve M. that they both have a strong possibilty of being returned during at the end of Spring Training.And Sec3, My Sofa…… what… you don't think Albaladejo for Clippard wasn't fair?

  26. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:20 PM

    Call me crazy… but why does everyone want Adam Jones so badly?? I thought we wanted a defensive CF'er who could hit?Look up his numbers on fangraphs like I just did- very young still (26), solid hitter, POOR defensive CF'er. His fielding numbers (range, UZR, etc) the past 3 years have been -8, -4, -8. Those are poor numbers. He has a great arm, poor range, and below average fielding. That all adds up to a poor defensive CF to me.I'd rather resign Ankiel (great defensive CF) and wait for Harper to come up and push Werth over as a stop gap.

  27. Water23 - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    So, how about acquiring Morales? With the 5+ OF already, he seems to be odd man out for the Angels.

  28. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    I was surprised at the news but first off, I was relieved that he wouldn't be with the Fish. Next, I felt kinda sad for STL fans, because I do like the old school idea of a player spending his entire career with one team. I also realize that's probably a thing of the past. Last, the DH aspect occurred to me as well.In other news, I would be happy to have Adam Jones on my team.Anonymous said… Is anyone else sad to see Pujols jump to the Angels? The AL makes sense for him and all that, but it was always a thrill to watch him hit. When I read the news it hit me how much I want Zimmerman locked up longer too. December 8, 2011 10:45 AM

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:26 PM

    Didn't Jones win a Gold Glove in 2009–how bad can he be?

  30. FS - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    As a baseball fan, this is probably one of the worst news.

  31. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:30 PM

    What does winning a Gold Glove have to do with fielding? See Jeter, Derek.

  32. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:38 PM

    So I just got text that says the Nats DID pick up two guys in the Rule 5 draft, a catcher named Seabury and a RHP named Buschmann.

  33. The Fox - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    @Buster_ESPNBuster Olney Karl Ravech reports CJ Wilson 5/77.5 million to AngelsSeem reasonable, more years than I would want to give. Slightly higher risk than Buehrle, thoughts?

  34. Mark Zuckerman - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    NatsJack: Read my updated article above. They did take those two guys, but in the minor-league phase of the draft.

  35. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:40 PM

    Oh yeah… the minor league portion. Nevermind.

  36. The Fox - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    Texas Rangers now on the hot seat!Mark the writing machine will probably have a new post soon.

  37. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:44 PM

    The Fox, the Angels are the team to beat in the AL. Albert is a winner. Weaver, Haren, Wilson, Santana makes a solid pitching staff. They have it all now + depth.

  38. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    I'm kind of bummed about Pujols not being a Cardinal anymore and I really hate losing NL studs to that Sunday Softball 10 man game they play in the Junior Circuit.

  39. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Not too tore up over the Rule 5 Draftees: Chances both the Yanks and the World Series Champions keeping them on their MLB rosters all year is a slim-to-none, IMO.Does anybody here think that our CF of the future is Oppo-boppo, aka Bryce Harper. He is a natural baseball player who can run. He should be groomed now. Playing Werth there is NOT the answer. It'll be hard on him. Harper is a Josh Hamilton-type of CFer… great arm, good speed and instincts, and great power.

  40. The Fox - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    I agree NatsJack I usually went to see the Cardinals when they came to town not happy Pujols is gone either.Steve M. I agree they are a very strong team now and this may be an understatement. The Rangers will have to respond either by signing Fielder or signing Yu Darvish or maybe some trade I can't think of. Any trade the Nats can make with them?

  41. Water23 - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    Anon 11:49,I think they tried him there in Hagerstown with mixed results.

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    11:49, the idea has been floated since before the draft, as you probably know. But the proof of the pudding is in the eating–if he can learn right field, they can always move him. I agree, center will be harder on Werth than a younger guy, but if they're figuring on eating the last few years anyway …

  43. Sec 3, My Sofa - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:02 PM

    The Rangers need a first baseman if Moreland doesn't work there (he was injured), and they don't want to keep Josh Hamilton in center, so they are looking for one of them, too.

  44. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:06 PM

    Angels are going to be right up against that 170 million payroll luxury tax if they don't dump someone I bet. I think that Abreu option vested for 9 million, for instance.

  45. CN - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Speaking of prospects, looks like Solis has some elbow issues, uh oh…http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/dec/5/nationals-concerned-about-solis-elbow/

  46. The Fox - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Blovy8 I saw on the other thread the dump Hunter comment. I do think they would trade him to drop 18 million. Not sure how good he is in CF anymore but I bet he is still better than anything the Nats have. 18 million for one year though is probably too rich for Rizzo.

  47. NatinBeantown - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:18 PM

    How does the MiLB Rule 5 draft work. Do they have to stay at a certain level's roster (say, Syracuse) all season or be returned?

  48. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    Texas is still in a pretty good spot at 1st with Moreland, Napoli and Young. Nathan as their closer means Feliz gets a rotation spot. They've got a Cuban CF Leonys Martin who's probably ready, although they barely played him in September. If the Rangers hadn't invested so much in him, he'd be a good target for the Nats. I guess the consolation prize would be a lesser deal for Julio Borbon.

  49. Steve M. - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:27 PM

    NatsJack, the Cardinals under Dewitt have had a history of looking for hometown discounts from their players. Albert's last contract was signed for a HUGE hometown discount. He has been there for 11 years and never made over $14.6 million in a season. On this new contract, he expected the Cardinals to do the right thing.At this point in his career, he really felt the Cardinals needed to step up, well the Angels stepped into that pile of &$^$ and will pay thru the nose. I think when everyone looks at this deal 10 years from now in hindsight, it won't look pretty.I don't blame Albert at all + he can DH to help his career last longer. We can all debate his real age, HgH and whatever else the rumors are there but this guy stands alongside the greatest that ever played this game at this point in his career. He is on the doorstep of 500 career HRs and if he stays healthy will get to 3,000 hits.

  50. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:31 PM

    18 million is a lot for Hunger, but I suspect the Angels would pay some of that in a deal. Great clubhouse guy, too.

  51. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:32 PM

    Sorry, Hunter, although they are hungry too, if not fixated or something.

  52. DCTom - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    The Yankees took two pitchers in the Rule 5 draft (lefty Cesar Cabral, 22-yr old lefty with a gaudy K/9 rate), and they traded to get the pick to nab Cabral. All that to say that the odds of Meyers being returned during or after spring training are probably fairly high, unless he finds his inner Roy Hobbs.Would it be possible to trade for Adam Jones in exchange for a commitment not to be as ruthless and threatening in the upcoming MASN ownership and rights renegotiation as we should be with the O's?

  53. The Fox - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:43 PM

    Always liked Hunter, Angels pick up 7 million Rizzo should consider it as long as he can still play a good not great CF. Rizzo never makes any trades I suggest maybe that's why he's a GM and I play one on the internet. I do think the Marlins, Angels and Rangers are ripe for some trades right now. Rangers still have some flexibility they could make Neftali Feliz a starter and sign or trade for a closer. Hot stove is the next best thing to the season. Can't wait for Mark's wrap-up for today.

  54. Vlad the Impaler - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:47 PM

    Pujols is all about money. St. Louis be damned.

  55. greg - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:55 PM

    water23: morales is a 1B, not an OF.psdfx: interesting comparison, but keep in mind that buerhle's stats are in the AL and the general consensus is you drop/rise .5 in ERA when you switch btwn NL/AL. so it's more like 3.2 vs 3.7. i'm bummed that we didn't get buerhle at a reasonable price, but since he didn't go for a reasonable price/term, i'm not upset with rizzo about that.

  56. greg - Dec 8, 2011 at 5:56 PM

    vlad, if pujols is all about money and st louis be damned, why did he sign for a significantly under-market contract the first time he was a FA in st louis?

  57. Theophilus - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM

    The guy who's gotta be bummed is Trumbo. Looking at watching his butt get wider while DH'ing the next 5-6 years. The Angels oughta be thinking about getting something good in exchange for him.

  58. blovy8 - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:23 PM

    Yeah, Morales might as well break his leg again for all the playing time he's gonna get.

  59. FS - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    Didn't they sign Joe Nathan already? Why would they want another closer? They still need starting help I believe. But that lineup is still better than Angels' lineup. I am not going to buy into off-season hype of LAA just yet.

  60. Vlad the Impaler - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    And why didn't he do it again? When you're making $ 20 million a year, what's the difference of a million or two a year. Amusingly, whatever difference there was between the Angels' bid and the Cards' bid might end up in Jerry Brown's tax coffers in Sacramento. On top of that, Pujols is going to find housing a little more expensive in Los Angeles than St. Louis, at least for the type of house he will want to live in.If I was a wealthy ballplayer, a man wealthier than 99.9 % of the world's people, and had roots in a city, I wouldn't turn my back on my community just for money. Perhaps Pujols wasn't really part of the community apart from the joy he received in basking in the community's adulation of him.

  61. Wally - Dec 8, 2011 at 6:47 PM

    Deadspin had a big story on Dan Lozano, Pujols agent, and one of the items in it was that because of his (lozano's) money troubles, he convinced Pujols to sign that original STL contract.http://deadspin.com/5861982/dan-lozano-albert-pujolss-superagent-king-of-sleaze-mountain

  62. Tevye - Dec 8, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    If I [were] a wealthy ballplayer, a man wealthier than 99.9 % of the world's people, and had roots in a city, I wouldn't turn my back on my community just for money. Of course you wouldn't. Suuuuuuure. And what an awful thing to do, go play baseball somewhere else! Oh, the humanity!

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