Nats lose Meyers, Komatsu in Rule 5 draft

Nats lose Meyers, Komatsu in Rule 5 draft
December 8, 2011, 3:28 pm
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Updated at 11:07 a.m.
DALLAS -- The Nationals lost two prospects this morning in the Rule 5 draft, watching as the Yankees took right-hander Brad Meyers and the Cardinals took outfielder Erik Komatsu away from them.

The Nats did not select any players themselves in the draft.

Meyers, 26, had been a reliable starter in the Nationals' farm system and went 9-7 with a 3.18 ERA and a stellar 116-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 25 games this season, most of them at Class AAA Syracuse.

The Nationals' minor-league pitcher of the year in 2009, Meyers had since seen several other prospects -- Brad Peacock, Tommy Milone, Sammy Solis, among others -- leapfrog him on the organizational depth chart.

"You can only protect so many players, and we felt ... that we have enough depth to absorb if we were to lose a starting pitcher or two," general manager Mike Rizzo said. "We actually anticipated losing more than one starter in the major-league phase of the Rule 5 draft. It goes with the territory. When you build a minor-league system and the farm system is getting better, it often happens that you lose a player, because you just can't protect everybody."

Komatsu, 24, was originally acquired by the Nationals from the Brewers in this summer's Jerry Hairston trade and wound up hitting .277 with seven homers and 48 RBI in 124 games at Class AA.

Rizzo, though, said the emergence of other center fielders who would likely overtake Komatsu at some point -- likely Michael Taylor and Eury Perez -- made Komatsu expendable.

"We were prepared for the possibility that he would be drafted away," Rizzo said. "We feel that with the center field situation in the big leagues and the crop of guys we have coming up that would push Komatsu, we had enough depth there to leave him exposed."

Per the rules of the draft, the Nationals receive 50,000 a piece from the Yankees and Cardinals to obtain Meyers and Komatasu. Both players must remain on their new clubs' 25-man rosters all season or else be offered back to Washington for 25,000.

The Nationals did select two players in the minor-league phase of the Rule 5 draft, snatching catcher Beau Seabury (who hit .274 with two homers in 31 games this season at Class A Modesto) away from the Rockies and right-hander Matthew Buschmann (12-6, 6.16 ERA in 32 games at Class AAA Tucson and Class AAA San Antonio) from the Padres.