Washington Nationals Trade Justin Maxwell To New York Yankees; Sign Cla Meredith; Outright Shairon Martis To Syracuse.

Justin Maxwell #30, formerly of the Washington Nationals, was trade to the New York Yankees this afternoon for a right-handed reliever with a last name that's difficult to spell or pronounce. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

• J-Max Era Ends: 27-year-old '05 4th Round pick Justin Maxwell had his chances over five seasons with the Washington Nationals. The best one came last Spring when the Nats abruptly parted ways with outfielder Elijah Dukes, who was expected to start in right field before the Nats made the decision that they'd be better off without him. Maxwell, who'd struggled (.247/.343/.449) at the plate in 2009 with Washington and at Triple-A Syracuse (.244/.344/.396) that year, hit in just 5 of 50 Spring Training at bats in 2010, however, and the Nationals went with other options in right, leading to another season in which Maxwell bounced up and down between Triple-A and D.C. After failing to break through at the plate during his time with the Nats, posting a .144/.305/.288 slash line in 67 games and 131 plate appearances for the Nationals, and in spite of his being relatively successful offensively with the Syracuse Chiefs last season, (where he had a .287/.390/.439 line in 2010), Maxwell, who had Tommy John surgery on his left non-throwing elbow after the season, was DFA'd last week to make room on Nats' 40-Man Roster for new reliever Todd Coffey...

...and this afternoon, the Nationals announced that Maxwell had been dealt to the New York Yankees in return for 24-year-old reliever Adam Olbrychowski, a 6'3'' right-hander who was selected by the Yankees in the 5th round of the 2007 Draft out of Pepperdine University. Olbrychowski, according to the Nats' official press release on the deal, was, "a combined 6-4 with seven holds, one save and a 3.31 ERA in 65 games/three starts at Single-A and Double-A," over the last two seasons in New York's system, and overall he's walked 145 (4.5 BB/9) batters and K'd 231 (7.2 K/9) over 4 seasons, 100 games and 287.1 IP.

Maxwell finishes his time in the Nats' organization with a .201/.319/.379 slash line in 122 games and 260 plate appearances over three seasons at the major league level during which the Olney, Maryland-born, University of Maryland-educated 6'5'', 235 lb outfielder hit ten doubles and nine HR's, three of them grand slams...

• Martis Outrighted, Invited; Cla Meredith, Alex Cora Signed: 

After the announcement of the Maxwell-for-Oldbrychowski deal, the Nats announced that 23-year-old Willemstad, Curacao-born pitcher Shairon Martis had been outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse, and also reported that he'd be a non-roster invitee to Spring Training after he went (8-7) in 27 starts and 152.0 IP with the Chiefs, collecting 99 K's (5.86 K/9) and walking 60 batters (3.55 BB/9) in the sixth year in the system for the 6'1'' right-hander...

Within the last hour, the Nationals also announced that they'd signed Cla Meredith and officially inked Alex Cora, both on minor league deals with invitations to Spring Training. The Cora deal was reported back on January 17th by several sources in NatsTown. In today's press release, the Nationals note that the 35-year-old infielder, "has mentored some of the game's finest young middle infielders -- including second baseman Dustin Pedroia and shortstop Jose Reyes -- over the last five seasons." Cora's played 13 seasons total in the majors. The 1996 Dodgers' draft pick played 62 games for the NY Mets last season (and 4 for the Texas Rangers), hitting a combined .210 with a .266 OBP, .278 SLG, 11 doubles and eight stolen bases. 

Meredith, who'll turn 28 in June, is a ground ball pitcher (66.3 GB%, 15.6 LD%, 18.1 FB% on his career) who threw two pitches (FB/SL) out the pen in 21 appearances and 15.0 innings on the mound for the Baltimore Orioles last season in the sixth major league campaign of the one-time Red Sox' draft pick's career. 

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