As MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo detailed on Thursday, the Washington Nationals had decisions to make on five players ranked on MLB.com's list of the Top 30 prospects in the Nats' organization who would be eligible for selection in the Rule 5 Draft on December 10th if they were not added to the Nationals' 40-Man roster by 11:59 PM EST tomorrow night.
Players who "... first signed at age 18 must be added to 40-man rosters within five seasons," Mayo notes, and players, "... signed at 19 years or older have to be protected within four seasons," become eligible for selection by other teams who have to pay $50,000 to select players in the Rule 5 Draft and then keep them on their major league roster throughout the season following their selection or else be offered back to their original team.
For the Nationals, who currently have 35 players on their 40-Man Roster following yesterday's announcement that they had outrighted David Carpenter, decisions had to be made on whether or not to add, among others, catcher Spencer Kieboom, ranked 21st overall on MLB.com's prospect list, first/third baseman Matt Skole, ranked 22nd, infielder/outfielder Chris Bostick (no.23), left-handed pitcher Nick Lee (no.25) and backstop Raudy Reed (no.26).
Kieboom, 24 and drafted in the 5th Round of the 2012 Draft, played at High-A Potomac in the Nationals' system in 2015, posting a .248/.344/.346 line with 16 doubles and two home runs in 71 games and 258 plate appearances.
He was ranked the top defensive catcher in the Carolina League by Baseball America this season.
Bostick, acquired from the Texas Rangers along with pitcher Abel De Los Santos in the Ross Detwiler trade, played at Double-A Harrisburg as a 22-year-old this season, putting up a .247/.286/.402 line with 12 doubles, five triples and eight home runs in 75 games and 315 PAs.
Lee, 24 and a 2011 19th Round pick, pitched at High-A Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg in 2015, pitching in a relief role after transitioning from starting to reliever last season, going (3-1) with 10 saves and a 3.12 ERA in 40 games total on the year, surrendering just one home run total in 52 IP over which he held opposing hitters to a .216 BAA.
Kieboom, Bostick and Lee were added to the 40-Man Roster tonight, protecting them from selection in the Rule 5 Draft:
The #Nats have selected the contracts of INF Chris Bostick, C Spencer Kieboom and LHP Nick Lee, adding them to the team’s 40-man roster.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) November 19, 2015
With this evening's roster additions the Nationals have 38 players on their 40-Man roster.