NATS DELIVER SIGNING FREE AGENTS
The Syracuse Chiefs major league affiliate the Washington Nationals have been busy during the 2010 off-season signing many players at the major league level – catcher Pudge Rodriquez, second baseman Adam Kennedy and pitchers Jason Marquis, Brian Bruney, Matt Capps, Eddie Guardardo, Miguel Batista and Tyler Walker,
At the minor league level, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo and his staff were busy replenishing the coffers at the AAA-AA levels. They include the signing of catcher Jamie Burke, 1B Josh Whitesell, infielders Eric Brunlett, Pedro Lopez and Chase Lambin, outfielders Chris Duncan, Jerry Owens, Pedro Powell and Kevin Mench. In addition they have resigned pitchers Andrew Kown and Logan Kensing and infielder Pete Orr from last years club.
Other players added by waiver claims and trades late in the year include pitchers Jesse English, Ryan Mattheus, Doug Slaten and Aaron Thompson.
Also expected to be in the mix is veteran lefthanded pitcher Matt Chico who looks to rebound after two injury interupted seasons.
Here is some brief tidbits on the players who could play in Syracuse this season:
Jamie Burke, 38 is a veteran catcher who split time last season between Seattle and AAA-Tacoma and also appeared in six games for the Nationals last season. Used mostly as a back-up and insurance at the major league level.
Josh Whitesell, 27, orignally drafted by the Nationals in 2003 he was claimed by the Diamdbacks in 2008 and batted .328 wih 26 HR and 110 RBI that season with Tucson-AAA. Last season he appeared in 63 games for AAA-Reno and batted .293 with 58 RBI before spending the remainder of the season in Arizona.
Eric Bruntlett, 31 spent the entire 2009 season with Philadelphia as a utility player appearing in 72-games.
Pedro Lopez, 26, split his 2009 season between Indianapolis-AAA and Altoona-AA. he batted .241 in 42 games for the Indians and spent the entire 2008 season in Syracuse with the Chiefs as their everyday shortstop.
Chase Lambin, 30, spent the 2009 season in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines and batted only .192 in 120 at bats. The season before he batted .300 with 14 HR and 54 RBI at AAA-Albuquerque (Marlins). He was originally drafted by the Mets in 2003 and played for Norfolk in 2005-2006. His best season coming in 2005 between Binghampton/Norfolk when he hit 24 HR home runs and batted over .300.
Jerry Owens, 29, lefthanded hitting outfielder with great speed played in only 12-games for the Chicago White Sox last season before being traded to Seattle and spending the remainder of the season with Tacoma. He batted .323 with 23 stolen bases in 100 games.
Chris Duncan, 27, batted .227 in 87 games for the St. Louis Cardinals last season before being released. He signed with the Red Sox and played in only 27-games for the Pawsox the rest of the way before being released again.
Pedro Powell, 25 began his career in the Pirates organization before spending the past two years as property of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. He has never played above the AA-level but has tremendous speed recording 268 career stolen bases in seven minor league seasons. 2004-60 , 2005-46, 2006-63, 2007-67, 2008-29 and 2009-28.
We will look at the new pitchers in the fold later on.