Nationals trade outfielder Justin Maxwell to the Yankees for pitcher Adam Olbrychowski

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, February 3, 2011; 12:16 AM

Less than a week after designating outfielder Justin Maxwell for assignment, the Washington Nationals have traded him to the New York Yankees for right-handed pitcher Adam Olbrychowski.

The trade officially ends the the six-year Nationals tenure of Maxwell, an Olney native and Maryland alum who could not fulfill his vast potential. The Nationals drafted Maxwell in the fourth round in 2005. He reached the majors for the first time in 2007 but appeared in only 122 games for the Nationals. Last year, he went 15 for 104 (.144) with 25 walks and three home runs.

The Nationals designated Maxwell in order to make room on the 40-man roster for newly acquired reliever Todd Coffey. Once they designated Maxwell, they had 10 days to trade him, release him or assign him to the minor leagues.

Olbrychowski, 24, went 3-2 with four holds, one save and a 3.90 ERA in 32 games last season with Tampa of the Class A Florida State League and Trenton of the Class AA Eastern League. During the past two seasons, he was a combined 6-4 with seven holds, one save and a 3.31 ERA in 65 games at Class AA and Class AA. He was selected by the Yankees in the fifth round of the 2007 first-year player draft out of Pepperdine.

The Nationals also outrighted right-handed pitcher Shairon Martis to Class AAA Syracuse and have agreed to terms with right-handed reliever Cla Meredith and infielder Alex Cora on minor league contracts that include spring training invitations. Martis will be a nonroster invitee at big league spring training.

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