For fun, let’s look at what regular Nats players we would want to keep. I should note that there are definitely players the franchise wants to keep, but if they have options, the team can send them down to the farm, then that’s where they would go (Matt Chico is a good example).
John Patterson: I don’t think he is “ace” material, but he’s the closest thing the Nats have. So we’ll keep him. Plus – and this will be a recurring theme – he could be trade bait.
Jon Rauch: Gotta keep him. He was solid last season and if he can continue the solidness, he may be decent trade bait.
Brian Schneider: He’s a leader. And the team needs a guy like this to work with the pitching staff. Keep him.
Nick Johnson: Another fan favorite. Plus, he’s hurt so he won’t be taking a roster spot for awhile.
Ryan Zimmerman: What can you say… he’s the face of the franchise and will put up awesome numbers.
Austin Kearns: Solid half-a-season and he could be excellent trade bait. Gotta keep him.
Ryan Church: There’s just something about him. What that something is, I do not know. But let’s keep him.
The total (minus Nick Johnson because he’s on the DL): 7. Thus, the Nats have room on the roster for 18 Rule 5 picks. If that Nats had done this, the entire franchise would be re-stocked with talent. Of course, they would probably lose 140 games this season.