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Nationals re-sign Matt Purke to a minor league deal, gamble on left-hander again

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The Washington Nationals signed Matt Purke to a major league deal at 1st Round money after taking him in the 3rd Round of the 2011 Draft. After releasing the left-hander last week, the Nats announced that they re-signed the southpaw today.

March 07, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Matt Purke (50) pitches during the spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium.
March 07, 2012; Melbourne, FL, USA; Washington Nationals pitcher Matt Purke (50) pitches during the spring training game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Space Coast Stadium.
Photo © Brad Barr/USA TODAY Sports

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.

"'We are excited to keep Matt in the organization and to keep his rehab on track. We look forward to seeing him rebound from his surgery...'" -Mike Rizzo on re-signing Matt Purke to Curly W Live

"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:

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: