Nationals Winter Meeting Update: Rule 5 Deals, Teams Interested In Dunn and Stammen

-The Washington Nationals selected four players in Major League Baseball’s Rule 5 Draft today, but traded their first overall pick, Jamie Hoffmann, to the Yankees as the “player to be named later,” in the Brian Bruney trade.

Hoffman, 25, was drafted by the Nationals out of the Los Angeles Dodgers farm system. In 68 games at AAA Albuquerque Hoffmann batted .284/.360/.455 with eight homers and 48 RBI. He will likely serve as a reserve outfielder for the defending World Champions, if he is not shipped back to L.A. first.

The Nationals drafted three other players in the draft today:

  • Arismendy Mota (RHP), from the  Chicago White Sox in the AAA phase.
  • Nicholas Moresi (OF), from the New York Mets in the AAA phase.
  • Michael Wlodarczyk (LHP), from the Tampa Bay Rays in the AAA phase.
The Nationals are expected to trade Mota, 22, who went 7-2 last year in the Dominican Summer League with a 1.81 ERA back to Chicago, according to Moresi is an athletic outfielder in the mold of a Destin Hood as he has great tools but has yet to put it together. Wlodarcyzk is a lefty specialist who only went 1-4 with a 5.24 ERA last season between AA and AAA.

In the Draft the Nationals lost pitchers Zech Zincola, Ruben De La Rosa, Terrence Engles and Johan Figuereo.

-Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported today that while the Cardinals first choice is to sign slugging free agent Matt Holliday, some within the organization are privately rooting for the club to fail at signing him in order to attempt to make a move for Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn.

Holliday batted .313/.394/.522 overall last season with 24 homers and 109 RBI, which is comparable to Dunn’s .268/.398/.529 with 38 homers and 105 RBI last season. Holliday however, batted .353/.419/.604 in his 63 games with the Cardinals last year.

-According to Bob Eliott of the Toronto Sun, the Blue Jays inquired with the Nationals about the availability of starting pitcher Craig Stammen, but were told he wasn’t available. Stammen, 25, was inconsistent in his rookie season with a 5.11 ERA in 19 starts.