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Enjoy the playoffs, Marlon

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Here are the press releases on a couple of late, under-the-August-31-wire deals the Nats made:

The Washington Nationals today acquired top pitching prospect, 20 year-old righthander Jhonny Nunez, from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for infielder Marlon Anderson and cash considerations. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Nunez, in his third pro season, went 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in 10 games (seven starts) for the Gulf Coast League Dodgers in 2006, his first season playing in the United States . Nunez, who stands 6-foot-3, limited opposing GCL batters to a .177 batting average en route to leading the league in wins. He also ranked among GCL leaders in innings pitched (first with 57.0), strikeouts (second with 56) and ERA (third).

In three professional seasons?the first two of which were spent in the Dominican Summer League?Nunez is 14-4 with a 2.02 ERA in 36 games (25 starts).

Anderson, 32, was hitting .274 with five home runs and 23 RBI in 109 games with Washington at the time of the trade.

And:

The Washington Nationals today acquired 21 year-old right-handed pitcher Luis Atilano from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for first baseman Daryle Ward. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Atilano was the Braves? first-round selection (35th overall) in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of San Juan , PR. Atilano went 6-7 with a 4.50 ERA in 19 games (18 starts) for Myrtle Beach of the Single-A Carolina League this season. He has not pitched since July 24, however, and on August 10, had Tommy John surgery performed on his right elbow by Dr. James Andrews. Last season, while pitching for Rome , Atilano started for the Southern Division in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

?We would like to thank Daryle Ward for his contributions to our organization this year,? said Bowden. ?We are thrilled to add a pitcher of Atilano?s potential to our ever-growing stable of young pitchers. We have full knowledge of his recent surgery, but feel the potential risk is well worth the reward.?

Ward, 31, batted .308 with six home runs and 19 RBI in 78 games for Washington in 2006.

Well, there you go. Atilano provides a rather extreme definition of a "prospect," I suppose; he is currently damaged goods, but can recover and has potential, it would seem. You can find more on both prospects at Nats Farm Authority.

At any rate, Anderson and Ward both turned out to be positive additions to the club. Ward is not mobile enough to get a lot of playing time anywhere other than first base, and Nick Johnson has been mainly healthy this season, limiting Ward's opportunities. But he was productive when he played. To his credit, Anderson provided a spark when he was used in spots by the club. He is not an effective every-day player, but he was a fine addition off the bench and generally spelled Jose Vidro pretty well. Anderson also made some nice plays in the outfield---including, surprisingly, center.

The Anderson trade also clears nearly a million dollars off next season's projected payroll, as the Nats inexplicably signed him to a two-year deal last winter.