Yesterday the Nats cut ties with 23 year-old Dutch-Antilles right-hander Shairon Martis, designating the starter for assignment; passing him through waivers to be released, traded or sent to Syracuse. Although I'm not sure what is going to happen to Martis, I believe that he has seen his last days in the Nationals Organization and that some other team will take a chance on the 2009 rotation member. The move was made to clear way for utilityman-extraordinaire, Jerry Hairston, who signed a $2 million dollar Major League contract a few days ago.
With that domino falling, the Nats have just a few more housekeeping moves to be made before Pitchers and Catchers report on February 16th. As of now, before the Gorzelanny and Coffey deals are accepted by MLB, the Nats have 42 men on their 40-man roster. That means 2 men are going to be unceremoniously booted to the curb.
On December 21st I wrote a post called 40-Man Maintenance that, among other things, attempted to weed out the moves that the Front Office needed to make in order to fit all the new players on the roster. In said post I predicted that Matt Chico, Justin Maxwell, and Luis Atilano would be cut; and to my credit, Chico was cut later that day. As of now, I believe that there are now 3 true candidates to be considered for removal from the 40-Man. Here is what I wrote about those 3 candidates in the previously alluded-to post.
Luis Atilano: Career Totals: 6-7 Record. 5.15 ERA. 5.00 FIP. 1.49 WHIP. 0.2 WAR
Luis Atilano's only career experience came this past year when he had an outstanding Spring Training and became first in line to fill in for the 1st injured/mental-breakdown Nats Starter. When Marquis was embarrassingly bad to start the season Atilano came in and was highly effective for month, winning 3 of his first 4 starts. Then he looked down, saw the ground was far, far away, and fell apart. Atilano pitched in the rotation until July, and then was put out of his misery and sent back down to AAA Syracuse.
Garrett Mock: Career Totals: 4-13 Record. 5.17 ERA. 4.38 FIP. 1.67 WHIP. 1.1 WAR.
Mock has always been touted by Nats brass as one of the best "stuff" guys in the organization. What that really means is that he has all the talent in the world but he hasn't been able to harness it (Daniel Cabrera Syndrome). His ERA is dreadful, his WHIP is worse and he just hasn't been able to stay healthy. At 27 years old the only thing Garrett has going for him right now is his 8.03 K/9.
Justin Maxwell: Career Totals: .201 AVG. .698 OPS. 7.8 UZR. 1.5 WAR.
The Jim Bowden Special. Maxwell was once touted as a prototypical 5-tool player, but it has become evident over the past 4 years that he is simply a 3-tool player; speed, fielding, throwing. It's really nice to have a defensive specialist when you have a stacked line-up and little defense. Since the Nats are already planning on going into 2011 with 4 above-average defenders in the outfield who can also hit higher than .201, there is no need for a 27 year-old Maxwell to remain on the 40-Man.
Predictions: 25 year-old Atilano stays. 27 year-old Mock and Maxwell gone.