Washington Nationals: Winter Meetings Checklist.

• Nationals Sign Jerry Owens - OF.

When the Washington Nationals acquired OF Alex Escobar in February of 2005, then DC GM Jim Bowden told MLB.com's Bill Ladson in an article entitled, "Nationals acquire Escobar", that he believed the one-time can't-miss Mets' prospect was, "...capable of hitting 20 to 25 home runs and driving in 80 to 90 RBIs," as was every player he signed, "But (Escobar)," to that point in his career, had, "...had problems with injuries and lack of opportunities," that had held him back. In exchange for Escobar, Bowden sent the Montreal Expos' 2nd Round pick from 2003, outfielder Jerry Owens, (who was taken 57th overall that year behind only Chad Cordero and a pick ahead of Kory Casto), to the White Sox. Owens, then 23, told Mr. Ladson that it was nice to go to a team that wanted him, since, in his own words, "I don't know what my future would have been with the Nationals," where a crowded outfield of Brad Wilkerson, Jose Guillen, Terrmel Sledge and Endy Chavez blocked Owens path to the majors.

(cont.)...

Escobar, who continued to have injuries set back his development, would play a total of 33 games for the Washington Nationals, hitting for a .356 AVG, .394 OBP, .575 SLG and a .969 OPS with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HR's and 18 RBI's before finally being released in the summer of 2008 after several injury-filled seasons...Owens played a total of 129 games for the White Sox in four seasons, with 93 of the games coming in 2007 when the then-26-year-old outfielder hit .267 with 9 doubles, 2 triples, 1 HR and 18 RBI's in 356 AB's. Now 28, Owens hit .323 with 126 hits in 100 games and 390 AB's at Triple-A Tacoma in Seattle's system last season, and Tuesday he was signed by the Washington Nationals to a minor league deal and given an invitation to Spring Training where he'll compete for a job in a crowded Nationals' outfield.

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