The Nationals announced today they've returned Rule 5 draftee Elvin Ramirez to the Mets, sending the right-hander back to New York after he missed the entire season with a shoulder injury.
Ramirez, a hard-throwing reliever whose fastball reached triple digits when healthy, was plucked away from the Mets last December. The Nationals hoped he would become a key member of their bullpen, but after reporting late to spring training due to visa troubles he reported shoulder soreness.
Ramirez opened the season on the disabled list and had season-ending shoulder surgery in May. Per Rule 5 regulations, the Nationals were required to keep him in the organization while on the DL.
Though he's now considered healthy, the Nats would have to keep Ramirez on the 25-man roster for at least 90 days in 2012. Instead, they chose to send him back to New York, which will have to return $25,000 to the Nationals (who initially paid $50,000 to acquire him).
The move clears a spot on the Nats' 40-man roster.