Got back from a meeting late thursday (aka the last day of these crazy 2014 Winter Meetings) and saw that one of the longer serving Nationals players in Ross Detwiler was reportedly traded to the Texas Rangers for two minor leaguers. Not sure who broke the story but I got it from Mark Zuckerman.
The return, per this USA Today story, is INF Chris Bostick and RHP Abel de los Santos.
Others in the Nats blogosphere have done the research on these two; no need to rehash it here. Short version: both guys played 2014 at high-A Myrtle Beach, where presumably the Potomac staff gave plenty of insight. Bostik is a 2B and de los Santos is a reliever with big K/9 numbers. By all reports Bostik is a fringe top 10 Rangers prospect and de los Santos is a sleeper. Neither is a 40-man roster guy, leaving the Nats with a vacancy for the moment.
Honestly, I think this is a good move for both player and team. I was somewhat worried the team would non-tender Detwiler rather than sign up for the $3-$3.5M he’d earn in arbitration. I would be too; his role on the team as last-man-out-of-the-bullpen can pretty easily be filled by any one of a number of rubber-armed veterans available on veteran-min contracts of $750k-$850k, or more than happily by one of our spare 40-man starters slated to pitch in AAA in 2015. Thanks to Jim Bowden‘s roster-moves in 2007, Detwiler blew through his options and service time far before he should have (per Zuckerman’s article, Bowden made a hand-shake deal to call up Detwiler in his draft year … a decision that has handcuffed the team with Detwiler for years. Now his options status is someone else’s problem.
At the same time, I do think that Detwiler can be a serviceable starter in this league, as his 2012 season showed. He just needed a shot, and that shot evaporated in this organization. So he gets a chance in an org that really, really could use him. He projects as being part of the 2015 opening day Texas rotation right now, behind Yu Darvish, Derek Holland, Colby Lewis and Nick Tepesch. However Texas has two other good starters coming off serious injuries (Matt Harrison had spinal fusion surgery in June and Martin Perez had TJ in May), so Ross will have to work to keep his spot if these regulars come back healthy. But that’s more opportunity than he was going to get in Washington.
Was this a good return? Probably, considering that I thought he was a non-tender candidate. Two high-A->AA prospects in positions of need works for me.