Nationals Get Down To Business

Outfielder Ryan Church and righthanded reliever Jon Rauch were among 12 players on Tuesday that the Washington Nationals struck deals with for the 2007 season.

Church, 28, appeared in 71 games with the Nationals last season, hitting .276 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. In three seasons with the Montreal Expos, he is a .269 hitter with 83 RBI in 203 career games.

Making 85 appearances last season, the 28-year-old Rauch became one of Washington's top relievers, going 4-5 with a 3.35 ERA and two saves. Since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a midseason trade in 2004, Rauch is 9-9 with two saves in 109 games and a 3.11 ERA.

Also reaching agreements were righthanders Saul Rivera, Ryan Wagner, Emiliano Fruto, Tim Redding, Jason Bergmann and Joel Hanrahan, lefthanders Billy Traber and Micah Bowie, outfielder Michael Restovich and infielder Josh Wilson (awesome 'stache).

As a huge part of the Nats' bullpen, 29-year-old Saul Rivera went 3-0 with a 3.43 ERA and one save in 54 appearances during his rookie season. Ryan Wagner, 24, appeared in 26 games in his first season with Washington, posting a 3-3 record and a 4.70 ERA.

Emiliano Fruto, 22, went 2-2 with a 5.50 ERA and one save in 23 relief appearances as a rookie last season. Signed as a free agent in November, 28-year-old Tim Redding was 0-6 with a 10.57 ERA in 10 games (seven starts) with the New York Yankees and San Diego Padres last season.

Micah Bowie, 32, was 0-1 with a 1.37 ERA in 15 relief appearances with Washington after a two-year absebse from the majors. Billy Traber, 27, went 4-3 with a 6.44 ERA in 15 games (eight starts) with the Nationals last season.

The 27-year-old Michael Restovich, who was acquired in the offseason, appeared in 10 games with the Chicago Cubs last year, hitting .167 and drove in one lonely run. In five seasons between Minnesota, Colorado, Pittsburgh and Washington, Restovich is a career .250 hitter with six home runs and 20 RBIs in 137 games.

Bergmann, Hanrahan and Wilson all played in the minors last season.

The Nationals have just four players left unsigned heading into spring training, including closer Chad Cordero and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Source: Nationals Press Release


extrapolater said...

Oh, sign Zimmerman, sign Zimmerman... he could be the defining player of the franchise!!!

I like Zimmy because he played at UVA, so I got to see him hit (and pitch, very well) in college. I'd like him to stay in the area so I can see him again.

Sooze said...

He's just a young pup, too... and he sure can drive in the runs.