Nats protect OF Casey, LHP Lee from Rule 5

November 19th, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Faced with the annual decision of who to add to the 40-man roster and, thus, who will be eligible to be picked up by another organization in the Rule 5 Draft, the Nationals selected the contracts of outfielder Donovan Casey and left-hander Evan Lee on Friday.

Casey and Lee are ranked as the Nats’ No. 18 and No. 21 prospects, respectively, by MLB Pipeline.

Left-hander Tim Cate (No. 13), shortstop Jordy Barley (No. 25), right-hander Richard Guasch (No. 26) and catcher Israel Pineda (No. 27) could be selected by a different club in the Rule 5 Draft, scheduled for Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.

Players who signed with a team at 18 years old or younger and were not added to the 40-man roster within five seasons, and players who signed at 19 years old and were not added within four seasons are Rule 5 Draft-eligible. Organizations pay $100,000 for the selection of a player in the Major League phase of the Rule 5 Draft, and that player must be offered back to his former club for $50,000 if he does not remain on the 25-man roster for the complete season.

Protected from Rule 5 Draft

OF Donovan Casey, 25
After being acquired from the Dodgers in a megadeal at the Trade Deadline, Casey was named the Nationals’ Minor League Defensive Player of the Year. He slashed .269/.329/.430 with a .759 OPS in 123 games between the Nats and Dodgers’ organizations this season.

LHP Evan Lee, 24
Lee posted a 4-3 record and a 4.32 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) with High-A Wilmington this season. He was selected by the Nationals in the 15th round of the 2018 June Draft.

Rule 5 Draft Eligible

LHP Tim Cate, 24
In 21 starts with Double-A Harrisburg this season, Cate was 2-10 with a 5.31 ERA. Cate, a second-round pick by the Nationals in 2018, has a record of 15-25 and a 4.16 ERA in 60 games (59 starts) over three seasons in their Minor League system.

SS Jordy Barley, 21
Acquired from the Padres in the Daniel Hudson trade in July, Barley was named the Nationals' Minor League Baserunner of the Year. He hit .205 with 12 stolen bases in 33 games for Low-A Fredericksburg.

RHP Richard Guasch, 23
The Nats acquired Guasch this season from the A's in the Yan Gomes and Josh Harrison deal. He was 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA across six games (five starts) in High-A Wilmington.

C Israel Pineda, 21
Pineda signed with Washington as an international free agent in 2016. He hit .208/.260/.389 with 14 homers in 77 games with High-A Wilmington in ‘21.