The Nats sign Eric Bruntlett, some other guy

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The Washington Nationals have signed infielder Eric Bruntlett and first baseman Josh Whitesell.

The shocking thing about this is not so much that someone managed to snatch up Bruntlett and Whitesell before the bidding wars began, as it is that we learn about it through a team press release.

My guess:  Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal were both trying to be the first to break this baby, encountered each other as they were going to meet the same source in a parking garage somewhere, and then killed each other in pitched battle, with the story being the ultimate victim in all of this.

As for the deals themselves, I can only assume that Bruntlett’s championship pedigree will combine with Jason Marquis’ veteran presence (and according to reports, Marquis is a veteran) to put the Nats over the top in 2010.  I think they had to take Whitesell because his daddy donated the money for the scoreboard or something.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.