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Nats to call up Kobernus, DFA Maya

May 25, 2013, 3:09 AM EST

Photo by USA Today
In need of depth on their bench, the Washington Nationals are calling up second baseman Jeff Kobernus from the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs and designating relief pitcher Yunesky Maya for assignment. Kobernus’ contract will be purchased to place him on the 40-man roster as Maya will now go through the waiver process.
Kobernus joins the Nats to provide an extra position player with Danny Espinosa out with a loose bone chip in his right wrist.
We’re doing something with Maya and calling up Kobernus,” Davey Johnson said. “We’re already one player short with four players on the bench, I like to have at least five. And with Espinosa down, we can’t go with three.”
Kobernus, 24, has spent four seasons in Washington’s minor league system after being drafted by the club in the second round of the 2009 MLB Draft. He has yet to make his major league debut.

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  1. Drew - May 25, 2013 at 3:20 AM

    Good for Jeff. Now DL Danny and bring up Walters to back up short.

  2. Unknown - May 25, 2013 at 3:31 AM

    I thought the Maya signing a few years ago was a big deal. I saw him as a back-of-the-rotation starter, the kind of guy who could win 10 games with an ERA under 4.00 (like John Lannan, maybe a little better).Couldn't have been more wrong.I don't feel bad for him, though. He's from Cuba–he came from poverty–and earned $8 million while pitching in the minor leagues the last four seasons.

  3. JaneB - May 25, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    It was such a bug deal when Maya came up. I was there the night he first pitched, I didn't see it coming but it makes the best sense for the team. And I hope he banked his money. Most of all, I hope Jeff is as advertised. GYFNG!

  4. Dominats Vobiscum - May 25, 2013 at 3:41 AM

    Maya is still collecting his money. I believe this is the third year of his 4yr/$8M deal. So he'll continue to collect no matter what happens with the DFA process. If another team claims him, they can pay him the minimum while the Nats pay the rest. But if he clears waivers the Nats can sign him back and stash him in the minors, but off the 40 man roster.

  5. Drew - May 25, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    While Mike Rizzo missed on Maya, let's pause here to congratulate Rizzo and his team on another draft pick making the majors.Kobernus joins Strasburg and Storen as the Nats' third player from the 2009 draft to make the Show.That's means 2009 was an excellent draft, but it could become spectacular. That draft also yielded Nate Karns, Taylor Jordan and Danny Rosenbaum.

  6. sjm308 - May 25, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Good points Dominats – I had problems with anyone taking on his contract. Are you saying that we will pay the $2 million for this year even if someone else picks him up? I realize he is guaranteed the money but I thought the team claiming him also claimed his contract. If they don't its certainly worth a gamble but if they do I can't see any team spending $2 million on him. Like Jane, I believe Rizzo was making a big splash but it certainly did not work. One of the funniest quotes and I will not even come close but I believe Rizzo claimed that Maya was more talented than Chapman. This was not Rizzo's finest move, and I am a huge Rizzo fan.

  7. Dominats Vobiscum - May 25, 2013 at 4:01 AM

    Nope, if another team claims him they can pay him the league minimum. The Nats are on the hook to pay him $2M/yr no matter what, whether he plays or not. Whatever another team pays him gets subtracted from the $2M. No double dipping allowed.

  8. Dominats Vobiscum - May 25, 2013 at 4:06 AM

    Also, sjm308, you should look up that quote yourself and not trust JayB's interpretation of it. Rizzo probably said something like spending $8M on Maya made more sense than spending $25M or whatever it was that the Reds were spending on Chapman. Since both were unproven quantities at the time, you really can't fault him for making that judgement.

  9. Sec. 3, My Natural Sofa - May 25, 2013 at 4:29 AM

    For the Old Blue!

  10. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 5:24 AM

    There's this thing called the Internet that allows you to find actual quotes rather than relying on what Rizzo "probably said." 308, I don't know why Feel/Dominats (where's Harpo?) would instruct you to use it rather than use it himself, but below are some choice Rizzo quotes from the day of the signing. No comparisons to Chapman, but clearly Rizzo way, way, way overhyped Maya. He hardly thought Maya was an "unproven quantity". I don't know how one could say that you can't fault him on this one. I thought making judgments on the MLB potential of players that Nats are thinking of signing and paying lots of money was his job. If he had passed on Strasburg, would we be saying, "Strasburg was an unproven quantity. You can hardly fault Rizzo for thinking that Mike Leake would be a better pick"? From the Wash Post Nationals JournalJuly 20, 2010 9:35 PMNationals General Manager Mike Rizzo could not confirm or deny the agreement, but he acknowledged the Nationals have followed Maya for some time and believes Maya, a veteran of the Cuban national team and Cuban National Series, could be added to the Nationals rotation by the end of the season."We think he's capable of pitching in the major leagues very soon," Rizzo said. "You've got an accomplished, major league-ready caliber pitcher that's competed at the highest level."Maya, a veteran of the Cuban National Series, was named the best right-handed pitcher in Cuba after the 2008-2009 season – "their Cy Young," Rizzo said. Maya throws four pitches — a curveball, a slider, a changeup and a fastball that zips between 89 and 92 miles per hour. Before defecting in September 2009, Maya was the ace of the Cuban National team, ahead of even Reds prospect Aroldis Chapman."He's a terrific, poised, capable, major league-caliber pitcher," Rizzo said. "Some of the most successful organizations would like to sign him and put him directly into their rotation. We're one of them."Oh well.

  11. JayB - May 25, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    That is not even the most damming comments Rizzo made at the time….at the Nats Season Ticket holder event in the Spring he answered my question on Chapman vs. Maya and he said that he would rather have Maya and Martin than Chapman. He felt Chapman was over priced and that for now and for the future Maya and Martin were the better Value and BETTER TALENTS.

  12. BigCat - May 25, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Don't feel too bad for Maya. He made a lot of scratch here in the states.Im tucking my shirt back in and going to work.Haren got somethin for the Phillies ass tonight. Well…..hopefully

  13. sjm308 - May 25, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    222: you would be assuming that I actually know how to use the internet – I can basically turn this thing on, get to the Insider and Washington Post, answer my mail and a few other tasks but seriously, thanks for finding the quotes. I guess I also am learning new names for old friends on here as well.And finally, I have no reason to think JayB would make something up. We might not agree all the time but I do enjoy his comments (most of the time). Like Peric, it would be dull on here if everyone was rah rah rah Nats all of the time.Wishing Haren all the best tonight! and hoping that Howard tweeked his knee or something. He scares me. Oh, keep Rollins in at short because in my opinion he has lost a good step or more. If he wins another gold glove it will definitely prove that this is just a political award.Go Nats!!

  14. Unkle Wheez - May 25, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Let's not make a big deal over one player that wasn't as good as we thought he would be. Compare his track record with other GM's, I am sure all have things that didn't work out. It isn't an exact science, that is why it is so difficult.

  15. JayB - May 25, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    222 and 308….you both have been at this as long or longer than I have and I greatly appreciate your sanity and modeling behaviors on being a Nats Fan…..I might care too much…..)

  16. JayB - May 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    Chapman and Yoenis Cespedes were both no brainers that Rizzo did not want to pay….the A's for god sake paid for Yoenis Cespedes …..and have the value……Rizzo and the Nats still have not learned International Scouting and Marketplace…..HUGE whole going forward and we are paying the price today for not understanding the market.

  17. karlkolchak - May 25, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    I wouldn't get too down on Rizzo about Cespedes since it looks like the league is catching up with him this year. Yes, Maya was a HUGE swing and a miss, but what I am most frustrated about with hm was his being recalled this past week just so he could immediately blow a game for us. You could see that coming a mile away.

  18. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 1:05 PM

    308, you do just fine, and I'm happy to track down stuff for you any time. JayB, I don't think you care too much at all, and you're too modest about your long time fandom. Plus, you take ownership of your opinions and always use the same name when you comment.

  19. JamesFan - May 25, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Complaining about Rizzo for one of the few mistakes he's made? Amazing.

  20. Mark P - May 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    @james, I'm with you. Name me one GM that's never missed on a move. That's right. No one can!

  21. CN - May 25, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    I could've sworn that maya signed for $6m before the 2010 season. So, this is his walk yr and he is not getting $8m. Still a miss by the team but in case these new facts talk anyone off the ledge

  22. CN - May 25, 2013 at 1:51 PM

    Ok, it's apparently $8m and this is the last yr of the contract http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mayayu01.shtml?mobile=false

  23. Section 222 - May 25, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    JamesF and MarkP, I'm not complaining, just setting the record straight. I'm a Rizzo fan, but he doesn't walk on water. Plus, I thought the gratuitous shot at JayB's integrity was unfair.

  24. Salvatore Johnson - May 25, 2013 at 8:11 PM

    Tuesday night was hard to watch with Maya serving up the winning run. You had to think his days were numbered, even F.P. Santangelo made the honest comment that in Maya's time with the Nats he still hadn't done a single thing right.In Maya's career with the Nats he was in 16 games, winning just once and losing 5 times. He pitched a grand total of just 58 innings in those three and a half years and was paid or will be paid a total of $6 million.Yes he was a big deal in Cuba, but he hasn't shown anything in both his time with the Nats and Syracuse as his career ERA with the Nats was 5.80 and Syracuse 4.41. I can bet that not one team will claim him on waivers and with his contract coming finishing in September the writing is on the wall.Can't go back to Cuba, probably can't play here he is probably going back to play on some obscure team in the Caribbean who he will be lucky to get a $6,000 contract instead of the $6 million he got for the Nats.Hope he has tucked some of that 6 million in a safe place.So I guess we just have to wish him well, it was one of Rizzo's few errors of judgement.

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