Matt Purke could have returned to college. The left-hander chose to go to school when he and the Texas Rangers could not work out a deal after he was selected in the 1st Round, 14th overall in 2009. The Washington Nationals drafted him in the 3rd Round, 96th overall in 2011, and in spite of a shoulder issue which developed during his sophomore year at Texas Christian University, offered him a 4-year/$4.15M major leauge deal which he took.
Purke told reporters that summer that a visit to the nation's capital convinced him Washington, D.C. was the right place for him.
"I think it was pretty much right away once I had seen and heard about the things that are going on here and how this organization, the Lerners and [Nationals' GM Mike] Rizzo run things around here," he explained, "and I knew that was something that I was looking for and value a lot. So I knew this was a really good spot."
The now-24-year-old southpaw underwent shoulder surgery in 2012, returned to the mound in 2013, but this past season suffered a tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow and underwent Tommy John surgery.
The Nationals released the left-hander last week, clearing a spot on the 40-Man roster, and after Purke cleared release waivers, the Nats re-signed him to a minor league deal today:
The #Nats have re-signed LHP Matt Purke to a Minor Lg. contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training: http://t.co/Ypqlr78uZM— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 17, 2014
Through 29 starts in the Nationals' organization (at Low-A Hagerstown, High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg), Purke is (7-12) with a 5.00 ERA, 55 walks (3.62 BB/9) and 118 Ks (7.77 K/9) in 136 ⅔ IP.
"'We are excited to keep Matt in the organization and to keep his rehab on track,'" Rizzo said today in an article by Amanda Comak at Curly W Live. "'We look forward to seeing him rebound from his surgery during the upcoming season.'"
Purke told MASN.com's Byron Kerr that he was happy to be back:
Nats re-sign Purke to minor league deal "I wanted to stay. The Nationals have taken really good care of me." http://t.co/pKxKrkzclv— Byron Kerr (@masnKerr) November 17, 2014