Friday November 19, 2010, 8:39 p.m.
By Mark Zuckerman
NATIONALS PAGE NATIONALS VIDEO
The Washington Nationals have added first baseman Chris Marrero and right-handers Adam Carr and Cole Kimball to their 40-man roster, protecting all three players from being plucked away in next month's Rule 5 draft. They have also lost pitcher Juan Jaime to the Diamondbacks on a waiver claim.
No other players were removed from the 40-man roster, which now has no open slots. If the Nationals acquire any new players this offseason, they'll need to first clear 40-man space before finalizing the additions.
The Rule 5 draft, which takes place December 9 at the Winter Meetings in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., provides clubs the opportunity to select unprotected prospects away from other teams. The only stipulation: The drafted players (who in most cases haven't played at upper levels of the minor leagues) must remain on their new club's big-league roster the entire season or else be offered back.
Players' eligibility for the Rule 5 draft is determined based on their age and professional experience. Players who were 19 or older on June 5, 2007 and signed later that year, as well as players who were 18 or younger on June 5, 2006 and signed later that year, are eligible to be drafted away next month unless they are added to the 40-man roster and thus become protected.
The Nationals chose to protect three prospects who are Rule 5 eligible: Marrero, Carr and Kimball.
Marrero, a first-round pick in 2006 out of high school, has long been regarded one of the organization's top offensive prospects. Now 22, the first baseman hit .294 with 18 homers, 82 RBI and a .350 on-base percentage in 141 games at Class AA Harrisburg this season.
Carr, 26, is an 18th-round pick from the 2006 draft who went 6-2 with a 2.75 ERA in 52 combined relief appearances this season between Harrisburg and Class AAA Syracuse. He's currently pitching the Arizona Fall League, where he has posted a 2.08 ERA in 10 appearances.
Kimball, 25, was selected in the 12th round of the 2006 draft and went 8-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 57 combine relief appearances this season between Harrisburg and Class A Potomac. He's also currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League, where he's allowed only one run in 12 innings.
Among the Nationals' prospects who are now unprotected from the Rule 5 draft is right-hander Brad Meyers, the organization's 2009 pitcher of the year. Meyers, though, pitched in only six games at Harrisburg this season due to a lingering foot injury, so the club is hoping no other team is willing to add him to a big-league roster.
Jaime, 23, is a flame-throwing Dominican right-hander who posted a 2.42 ERA and 146 strikeouts in only 111 23 minor-league innings. But he didn't pitch in 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and faces an uncertain future. The Nationals attempted to outright him to the minors, but the Diamondbacks claimed him off waivers and now own his rights.