Ryan Wagner--Nats Property or Not?

Posted by Dave Nichols | Monday, November 24, 2008 | , | 3 comments »

Checking out all the info about the upcoming Rule 5 draft, most lists have Ryan Wagner listed as a Washington National. According to the Nats press release of October 30:

The Washington Nationals today announced they have outrighted right-handed pitcher Chad Cordero, right-handed pitcher Ryan Wagner and infielder Pete Orr to Syracuse of the Triple-A International League. All three players elected free agency.

But in the transaction section of MLB.com, the transaction was listed thusly:

Washington Nationals: Sent RHP Ryan Wagner and INF Pete Orr outright to Triple-A Syracuse. Orr refused the assignment and is a free agent. Activated INF Nick Johnson, OFs Justin Maxwell and Wily Mo Pena from the 60-day disabled list. Activated RHP Chad Cordero from the 60-day disabled list and sent him outright to Triple-A Syracuse. He refused the assignment and is a free agent.

So did Wagner indeed refuse the assignment becoming a free agent, as the Nats press release clearly stated, or was the transaction report in MLB.com legit and Wagner accepted his demotion to Triple-A Syracuse? Now we know Pete Orr has subsequently re-signed this the Nationals, per MLB.com and (and other sources):

Washington Nationals: Signed INF Pete Orr to a Minor League contract.

But no mention of Wagner resigning anywhere, if he ever was a free agent in the first place.

Even Natosphere minor league resident expert NFA is confused on Wagner's standing:

RHP Ryan Wagner (heard he re-signed … trying to confirm)
Since Major League Baseball doesn't post a list of players eligible for the Rule 5, this type of situation is tough to fact-check. It's not like it's a tremendously huge deal, since Wagner's velocity had not returned by September, and any team claiming him would be taking a big risk on holding a roster spot on a guy that last time he pitched competitively was only throwing 83-84 with his fastball.

But it would be nice to know the facts going into the game.

Glad to be back, and much thanks to staff photographer Cheryl Nichols for turning this once-proud Nats blog into a Ken Griffey Jr. tribute page in my absence. Just kidding, she did a great job and I have expressed my gratitude to her in person, you can rest assured.


  1. Wil Nieves // November 27, 2008 at 12:41 PM  

    Way to go Johhny! I am thankful today that you gave me your spot.

  2. Dave Nichols // November 27, 2008 at 6:43 PM  

    Wil, your link didn't come through all the way. but i assume you're referring to Johnny Estrada eating and moping his way out of the line-up allowing you to get called up and become a contributing member of the team -- and a fan favorite.

    i'm thankful that of all the folks that read my blog, at least you comment on a regular basis. it's nice to have feedback!

  3. Wil Nieves // November 27, 2008 at 7:23 PM  


    Here is the link, I hope you can see it this time. It is a Joe Posnanski SI article about stolen bases, one of my least favorite things to witness while playing.