The 2005 Washington Nationals

Then and now

A look at where key members of the 2005 Nationals are now, and where the 2010 Nationals were then.

Player, position What he's doing now How he left D.C.
Brad Wilkerson
Left field
Once a 32-home run producer for Montreal and the early leader for “Face of the Nationals,” he announced his retirement from baseball after failing to make the 2009 Boston Red Sox. Signed a minor-league deal with Philadelphia this February, but was released March 29, and now is in Florida. Traded with P Armando Galarraga and OF Terremel Sledge to Texas for 2B Alfonso Soriano on Dec. 8, 2005.
Teams played with since: Rangers, Mariners, Blue Jays.
Nick Johnson
First base
Productive but injury-prone with Nats, he’s now the designated hitter for the New York Yankees and is currently on the disabled list – his ninth trip in nine years – with a wrist injury. Sits between Derek Jeter and Mark Texeira in the lineup, but was hitting just .167 in 24 games. Traded to Florida for minor-league pitcher Aaron Thompson on July 31, 2009.
Teams played with since: Marlins, Yankees.
Jose Vidro
Second base
Once a 200-hit machine for Montreal, battled injuries in two seasons with Washington. Was released by the Mariners in August 2008, and hasn’t played since. Living in his native Puerto Rico. Traded to Seattle for RP Emiliano Fruto and OF Chris Snelling on Dec. 18, 2006.
Teams played with since: Mariners.
Jose Guillen
Right field
Alternately a force and a disruption in Washington, he’s now the designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, hitting .250 with 11 homers in 52 games. Signed as a free agent with Seattle on Dec. 4, 2006.
Teams played with since: Mariners, Royals.
Ryan Church
Center field
Injury-prone outfielder was a rookie in ’05, and a divisive figure for Nats fans: some thought he was full of potential, others lazy. Now a part-time player in Pittsburgh, hitting .204 in 34 games. Traded with C Brian Schneider to the New York Mets for OF Lastings Milledge on Nov. 30, 2007.
Teams played with since: Mets, Braves, Pirates.
Vinny Castilla
Third base
Came a single short of the cycle on Opening Night at RFK, but ran out of steam during a season in which he turned 38. Is now a special assistant to the GM in Colorado, where he enjoyed his most productive years. Traded to San Diego for P Brian Lawrence on Nov. 4, 2005
Teams played with since: Padres, Rockies.
Brian Schneider
Arrived in Washington with a stellar defensive reputation, but never developed offensively. Now 33, a full-time backup with Philadelphia – the first backup job of his career – hitting .174 in only nine games. Traded with OF Ryan Church to the New York Mets for OF Lastings Milledge on Nov. 30, 2007.
Teams played with since: Mets, Phillies.
Cristian Guzman
Suffered through a miserable ’05 in which he hit .219, he lost his starting job to rookie Ian Desmond this spring training, and is now a backup middle infielder, hitting .327. Guzman is the only player who has been a National, without interruption, from 2005-10 (though he missed 2008 after shoulder surgery).
Livan Hernandez
Starting pitcher
Got to ’05 All-Star break with 12-3 record, but won just three more games. After being discarded by several teams, is somehow back – and an anchor – with Washington again. Traded to Arizona for minor-league pitchers Garrett Mock and Matt Chico on Aug. 7, 2006.
Teams played with since: Diamondbacks, Twins, Rockies, Mets, Nationals.
Chad Cordero
An All-Star who led the National League with 47 saves, Cordero eventually blew out his shoulder, leading to the end of his Washington career. He’s now pitching for the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers, trying to return to the majors. Was not tendered a contract following the 2008 season, signed with Seattle on March 12, 2009.
Teams played with since: None.

Management and other key players

Frank Robinson
Working in Commissioner’s office on diversity issues.
Jim Bowden
General Manager
Co-hosts a radio show on the MLB channel on Sirius Satellite Radio, and contributes to
Tony Armas Jr.
Starting pitcher
Released last year from the Class AAA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
Luis Ayala
Relief pitcher
Pitching for the Reno Aces, Class AAA affiliate of the Diamondbacks.
Carlos Baerga
Gary Bennett
Selling medical supplies outside Chicago; won World Series with 2006 Cardinals; last played for Dodgers in 2008.
Jason Bergmann
Relief pitcher
’05 rookie is now with Class AAA Syracuse, the Nats’ top affiliate.
Tony Blanco
Nats’ Rule 5 pick now playing for the Chiunchi Dragons in Japan.
Marlon Byrd
Starting center fielder for Cubs, hitting .299 in with seven homers 51 games.
Jamey Carroll
Utility infielder for Dodgers, hitting .269 in 43 games.
Hector Carrasco
Relief pitcher
Reliever for the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League.
Endy Chavez
Suffered torn ACL last year with Seattle, and hasn’t played since.
Zach Day
Starting pitcher
Last pitched for Class A Fort Myers of Twins organization.
Ryan Drese
Starting pitcher
Midseason Nats’ pickup now in Dallas working his way back from second ligament replacement surgery in right elbow.
Joey Eischen
Relief pitcher
Retired; last pitched with Nationals in 2006.
Brendan Harris
Utility infielder for Minnesota, hitting .170 in 34 games.
Esteban Loiaza
Starting pitcher
Pitched for Mazatlan in Mexican Winter League last offseason, trying to build arm strength and come back; last pitched with Dodgers and White Sox in ’08.
Gary Majewski
Relief pitcher
Pitching for Round Rock Express, Class AAA affiliate of Houston.
Tomo Ohka
Relief pitcher
Pitching for the Yokohoma Baystars of Japan’s Central League.
John Patterson
Starting pitcher
After unsuccessful comeback bid with Rangers, retired in Jan. 2009; teaching baseball in home town of Orange, Tex.
Jon Rauch
Relief pitcher
Closer for the Minnesota Twins, with 13 saves in 15 opportunities.
Rick Short
Retired after last season with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japanese League; now a scout for Arizona.
Mike Stanton
Relief pitcher
Baseball coach at Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J.
Preston Wilson
Retired; won World Series with 2006 Cardinals; last played in majors in 2007 with St. Louis.

Player, position What he was doing then How he came to D.C.
Nyjer Morgan
Center field
Hit .286 for high Class-A Lynchburg, part of the Pittsburgh chain, but played just 60 games because of shoulder injury. Traded with LHP Sean Burnett for RHP Joel Hanrahan and OF Lastings Milledge on June 30, 2009.
Willie Harris
Right field
Played in 56 games for the Chicago White Sox, but none in the outfield. Won the World Series. Signed as a free agent on Dec. 13, 2007.
Ryan Zimmerman
Third base
As a junior at the University of Virginia, hit .393 and driving in 59 runs in 61 games. In majors by end of season. 2005 draft, first round, fourth overall.
Adam Dunn
First base
Hit 40 homers and drove in 101 runs for Cincinnati, leading the league in strikeouts as well. Signed as a free agent to a two-year, $20 million deal on Feb. 11, 2009.
Josh Willingham
Left field
Appeared in 16 games with Florida, but spent most of season at Class AAA Albuquerque, hitting .324 with 19 homers. Traded with LHP Scott Olsen for IF Emiliano Bonifacio and two minor leaguers on Nov. 10, 2008.
Adam Kennedy
Second base
Hit .300 in the sixth of seven seasons as the starting second baseman for Anaheim, which won the A.L. West. Signed as a free agent to a one-year, $1.5-million contract on Feb. 12, 2010.
Ivan Rodriguez
During the second of five seasons in Detroit, hit .276 and made the All-Star team for the 12th of 14 times. Signed as a free agent to a two-year, $6-million contract on Dec. 7, 2009.
Ian Desmond
Then 19, split time between low-Class A Savannah and high-Class A Potomac, striking out 113 times with 39 errors in 128 games. Taken in the third round of the 2004 draft by the Montreal Expos.
John Lannan
Starting pitcher
As a junior at Siena College, went 10-2 with a 2.29 ERA, striking out 83 and walking just 28 in 82 2/3 innings. Taken in the 11th round of the 2005 draft.
Matt Capps
After posting 21 saves and a 2.57 ERA at Class A and AA, made major league debut with Pittsburgh, pitching in four games. Signed as a free agent to a one-year, $3.5-million deal on Jan. 6, 2010.


Jim Riggleman
Was minor-league field coordinator for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Mike Rizzo
General Manager
Was director of scouting with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Barry Svrluga, The Washington Post

The Washington Post

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