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Nats add Karns, Davis to 40-man roster

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Nats add Karns, Davis to 40-man roster

The Nationals purchased the contracts of Nathan Karns and Erik Davis tonight, adding both right-handers to their 40-man roster and protecting them from being selected in next month's Rule 5 draft.

All major-league clubs were required to finalize their 40-man rosters before midnight, with any eligible players who were not added to the roster now available to other clubs via the Rule 5 draft.

Among those left unprotected by the Nationals were left-hander Danny Rosenbaum, second baseman Jeff Kobernus and outfielder Destin Hood.

The Nationals were more worried about Karns and Davis being plucked away in the draft, which requires the player's new club to keep him on the big-league roster for a full season or else offer him back to his former organization.

Karns, who turns 25 on Sunday, earned organizational pitcher of the year honors after going a combined 11-4 with a 2.17 ERA in 24 games with low-Class A Hagerstown and high-Class A Potomac. A 12th-round pick in the 2009 draft out of Texas Tech, the husky right-hander battled a shoulder injury early in his professional career but put himself back on the radar screen with his breakthrough 2012.

Davis, 26, was less well-known in the organization. Acquired from the Padres for infielder Alberto Gonzalez in March 2011, the reliever went 8-3 with a 2.71 ERA in 48 appearances between Class AA Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse. Perhaps more significant, he currently sports an 0.56 ERA in 14 games with Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League, a dominant performance that left the Nationals worried he'd be vulnerable via the Rule 5 draft.

Tonight's moves leave the Nationals with 38 players on their 40-man roster. They need to keep spots open in order to acquire players via free agency or trades.

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Bryce Harper sends 'Wow' tweet after Nationals trade for Adam Eaton

Bryce Harper sends 'Wow' tweet after Nationals trade for Adam Eaton

Nationals star Bryce Harper has had an eventful week, which included finding out that he might not be the Nationals star much longer. 

An anonymous club executive said that the Nationals won't meet Harper's demands for a 10-year, $400 million contract, and are prepared to let him walk when he becomes a free agent after the 2018 season. 

That happened on Monday, then on Tuesday Washington missed out on trading from White Sox ace Chris Sale, who ended up going to Boston. 

And then on Wednesday, the Nats ended up trading their pile of top pitching prospects to the White Sox anyway, but instead of getting Sale, they got centerfielder Adam Eaton

Eaton, 28, has never been an All-Star. But he finished last season with a .284 batting average, .362 slugging percentage, 59 RBIs and 14 home runs. He's also an asset defensively in the outfield. 

But the pitching prospects Washington gave up – Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning – amounted to a steep price for Eaton. So steep that the Nats reportedly offered almost the same package of prospects for Sale. 

Within minutes of the Eaton trade news breaking, Harper tweeted this. 

He followed it up with a message of welcome a few minutes later.

Obviously, the initial tweet is what grabbed peoples' attention. But who can really say if Harper meant it as a positive or negative reaction to the Eaton trade? Frankly, it might not have anything to do with the trade at all. 

Plenty of other "wow" things happened this week. 

MORE NATIONALS: Dusty Baker takes part in “Play Ball” clinics in D.C.

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Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

Nationals deal top prospects Giolito, Lopez and Dunning to White Sox for Adam Eaton

The Washington Nationals were unable to trade the farm to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for former Cy Young winner Chris Sale. But still looking to make a splash, the Nationals went back to the White Sox, and have made a deal.

Multiple sources have confirmed that the Nationals will trade Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and 2016 first-round pick Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton, pending physicals.

Eaton, 28 years old, will be entering his sixth season, having played two seasons with the Diamondbacks and two season with the White Sox.

Eaton has never made an All-Star team, but has a solid OBP of .357 and has back-to-back seasons of 14 home runs and at least 50 RBIs. He also has a very friendly contract, having recently signed a five-year, $23.5 million contract.

In return, the White Sox get a treasure trove of prospects.

Giolito is the top prospect in the Nationals' organization and one of the top prospects in all of MLB. He appeared in six games for the nationals in 2016, finishing with a 6.75 ERA and 11 strikeouts. Lopez, the No. 4 prospect in the organization, appeared in 11 games in 2016, finishing with a 4.91 ERA and 42 strikeouts.

Dunning, one of the ace of the Florida Gators' staff, was selected by the Nationals with the 29th pick of the 2016 MLB Draft.

But considering the Nationals were willing to give up numerous top prospects for Chris Sale or Andrew McCutchen, it's puzzling that the Nationals would receive just Eaton in return.

Heading into the 2016 winter meetings, it was well known that the Nationals were interested in making a big splash and shaking things up.

It looks like they're doing just that.