The Washington Nationals started the day by announcing that they had signed right-handers Chris Young and Gabriel Alfaro to minor league deals. Everyone then quickly searched around for information on Alfaro, who was spotted pitching in Venezuela by a Nats' scout according to a Washington Post report by Nats beat writer Adam Kilgore. Alfaro is currently pitching for the Navegantes del Magallanes in the Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional where he's (2-1) with seven walks and 10 Ks in 12 1/3 IP so far this fall.
The #Nats have signed RHP Chris Young and RHP Gabriel Alfaro to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League spring training.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) November 20, 2013
The next announcement the Nats made on Wednesday dealt with the additions to the 40-Man Roster the Nationals made to protect the players they could who are eligible for selection in this December's Rule 5 Draft. Pitchers Sammy Solis and Aaron Barrett and outfielder Michael Taylor were added to the 40-Man with left-handers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson designated for assignment to make room on the roster, which was up to 39 after Washington added 24-year-old outfielder Steven Souza recently.
The #Nats have selected LHP Sammy Solis, OF Michael Taylor and RHP Aaron Barrett to their 40-man roster.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) November 21, 2013
Taylor, 22, was drafted out of high school in Florida in the 6th Round of the 2009 Draft. In 133 games and 581 plate appearances at High-A Potomac this year, the P-Nats' outfielder put up a .263/.340/.426 line with 41 doubles, six triples, 10 HRs and 51 stolen bases in his fourth major league season. Taylor has a .378/.451/.578 line with 3 doubles and 2 HRs in 12 games for Indios de Mayaguez in the Liga de Beisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente this fall. Taylor was ranked 7th on Baseball America's list of the Nationals' Top 10 Prospects when it was published earlier this month.
Taylor was also named the Best Athlete and Best Defensive Outfielder in the Nats' organization by Baseball America.
More on Taylor and everything else that happened in NatsTown on Wednesday in today's Wire Taps. Links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:
• THE BIG STORY!!!:
• "Solis reached 95 mph with life on his fastball, showed the potential for a plus changeup and a solid breaking ball, and threw strikes." - "Five More AFL Prospects To Watch" - Jim Callis, Callis' Corner
• NATS BEAT:
• "When the Nationals got healthy in the second half of the season, they had baseball's best record (33-15) after Aug. 9. They were No. 1 in the NL in both runs and run differential in that stretch..." - "Nationals have pieces to live up to expectations" - Richard Justice, nationals.com: News
• "Watching Alfaro in Venezuela, Rizzi saw a burly right-hander who mixed a 97-mph fastball with a quality slider." - "Nats sign Gabriel Alfaro to minor league deal; details on Chris Young’s contract" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post
• "In 2013, Alfaro went 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA and 26 saves in 53 relief appearances spanning 63 innings." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats sign right-hander Gabriel Alfaro to minor league deal" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "Alfaro, meanwhile, joins the Nationals after two years in the Mexican League, where he recorded 26 saves with sub-2.75 ERAs in consecutive seasons for the Oaxaca Guerreros." - "Nats sign pitchers Chris Young, Gabriel Alfaro to minor-league deals" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com
• "Fully recovered from Tommy John surgery, the left-handed-throwing Solis recently led the Arizona Fall League in wins (5) and strikeouts (29) en route to a 2.17 ERA in seven starts." - "Nats add three, including two arms, to 40-man roster" - Bill Ladson, nationals.com: News
• "The designation of Abad for assignment is mildly surprising. Abad, 27, who was signed last winter to a minor league deal, was part of the Nationals mid-season bullpen overhaul." - "Nationals add Aaron Barrett, Sammy Solis and Michael Taylor to 40-man roster" - James Wagner, Washington Post
• "In order to clear space on the 40-man, left-handed relievers Fernando Abad and Tyler Robertson were designated for assignment." - "Nationals Pastime: Nats add Solis, Taylor, Barrett to 40-man roster; Abad, Robertson DFA" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com
• "Solis, Barrett and Taylor were among more than a dozen Nationals minor leaguers who would be subject to this year’s Rule 5 draft if not added to the club’s 40-man roster." - "Solis, Barrett, Taylor added to 40-man roster; Abad, Robertson dropped" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• "MASN color analyst F.P. Santangelo has signed a contract to return for the 2014 season, a person familiar with the situation said." - "F.P. Santangelo finalizes contract, will return in 2014" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post
• "Most of Zach Walters’ 2013 season took place at Triple-A Syracuse where he made a drastic improvement in his power numbers." - "Washington Nationals roster review: Zach Walters" - Mark Zuckerman, Nats Insider
• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:
• "The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached out to former All-Star right-hander Dan Haren, along with several other veteran pitchers, according to sources..." - "Los Angeles Dodgers reach out to free agent Dan Haren" - Mark Saxon, ESPN Los Angeles
• "The Pirates also signed former major league pitchers Seth McClung and Collin Balester, once a top prospect in the Nationals organization." - "Pirates notebook: Team becomes attractive destination for pitchers on rebound" - Travis Sawchik, TribLIVE
• "Former Mobile County High School baseball standout Bobby Henley is the new third-base coach for the Washington Nationals." - "Grand Bay's Bobby Henley back in the big leagues with Washington Nationals" - Mark Inabinett, AL.com
• "Hey, Syracuse Chiefs. We've got your back. That was the message Wednesday from Doug Harris, director of player development for the Washington Nationals." - "Washington Nationals stand behind the Syracuse Chiefs as a good baseball partner" - Lindsay Kramer, syracuse.com
• "Harrisburg’s investment in a minor-league baseball team is still draining the Pennsylvania capital’s coffers six years after the city, which was placed under receivership in 2011, sold the club." - "Harrisburg Ballpark Bleeding Capital in Receivership" - Romy Varghese, Bloomberg
• "Smorol, as you likely know, is the Chiefs' new general manager and the fellow who may yet need the Jaws of Life to rescue our town's Triple-A baseball franchise from the ditch into which it was driven by the folks he was hired to replace." - "The Syracuse Chiefs, in a million-dollar ditch, hope to 'resurrect' their International League franchise" - Bud Poliquin, syracuse.com
• "Matt and Erika Williams spent three years designing and building their ideal home -- a beautiful, plush palacial abode in the Paradise Valley." - "At home with former D-backs star Matt Williams" - Yett Gibson, azfamily.com Phoenix
• NL EAST UPDATES:
• Phillies: "The Phillies added four players to their 40-man roster Wednesday, which protects them from December's Rule 5 Draft. The foursome includes outfielders Aaron Altherr and Kelly Dugan, catcher Tommy Joseph and left-hander Rob Rasmussen." - "Phillies add four prospects to 40-man roster, protecting them from Rule 5 Draft" - Todd Zolecki, phillies.com: News
• Mets: "As the organization continues to mull potential free-agent upgrades at key positions, it has suffered a severe case of 'sticker shock,' according to a source with knowledge of the front office’s thinking..." - "‘Sticker shock’ may alter Mets’ offseason plans" - Mike Puma, New York Post
• Marlins: "The Marlins are weighing whether David Freese is a realistic fit at third base." - "Fernandez, Eovaldi anchoring rotation" - Joe Frisaro, The Fish Pond