Washington Nationals: Sign Mexican League Pitcher Rafael Martin.

Washington Nationals' team President Stan Kasten spoke to MLB.com's Bill Ladson yesterday for an interview entitled, "Q&A with Stan Kasten", in which Mr. Kasten answered a question about the state of the team's operations in the Dominican Republic by first describing the work they've done since SMILEY GATE shook up the organization and then declaring that the team had in fact "made some signings", one of which was a player who, in Mr. Kasten's own words, "...could join the big league team this year -- a little bit of an older player," whose name would be announced along with those of the others signed at some point in the next few days...

Early this afternoon, ESPN.com's Jorge Arangure checked in via Twitter with the following information, which seemed to end any sense of mystery Mr. Kasten may have created:

"#Nats big intl signing that Kasten is trumping may be Mexican RHP Rafael Martin who agreed to terms with team for 450k couple weeks ago."

Mr. Arangure continued to post several Tweets on the subject, informing his followers that Martin was the only player he could think of that met Mr. Kasten's description. "Somebody" who saw Rafael Martin pitch told Mr. Arangure that the 26-year-old right-hander who, "pitched for Saltillo in Mexico and was on Mexico's Caribbean Series team," has a 94-95 mph fastball, and would, "...most likely be a set-up/reliever type. Martin to Storen back end of the bullpen for the Nats?

NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman included Rafael Martin's name on a list of, "47 of the organization's top prospects", in an article yesterday entitled, "Accelerated camp roster", which announced just that, the list of players who'd be attending the Nationals' accelerated development camp, so why Mr. Kasten was being circumspect in his answer to Mr. Ladson if Martin's the player he meant is a mystery. No word yet from the Nationals...oh wait...

MLB.com's Bill Ladson just sent out the following Twitter message:

"I just learned the #Nats purchased the contract of RHP Rafael Martin from Saraperos de Saltillo of the Mexican League."

Odd how news comes out these days...

Martin was (6-3) for Saltillo in 2009, posting a 4.12 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 54 games and 63.1 IP over which he walked 25 (3.6 BB/9) and K'd 65 (9.2 K/9) in his third season in the Mexican League. Mr. Ladson followed up the last Tweet with another message that reports Martin will report to Minor League camp tomorrow...

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