WASHINGTON -- The roster moves seem almost as important as the games these days for the last-place Washington Nationals. That's why Friday's rainout was far from a wasted day.
While the remnants of Tropical Storm Ernesto headed toward the nation's capital, general manager Jim Bowden was at it again, making his third trade in less than 24 hours and announcing five Sept. 1 call-ups.
The latest deal brings in Nook Logan from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. A promising rookie in 2004 who has languished in the minors this year, Logan might fill the Nationals' hole in center field.
Known for his speed, he hit .264 with one home run, 27 RBI and 31 stolen bases in 176 games over two seasons with Detroit. The 26-year-old outfielder failed to make the big league club out of spring training this year and has batted .185 in 19 games with Triple-A Toledo and .247 in 20 games with Double-A Erie.
Late Thursday, the Nationals sent infielder-outfielder Marlon Anderson and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers less than an hour after he scored the winning run on a wild pitch in the 10th inning against the Philadelphia Phillies, a victory that snapped a four-game losing streak. Washington received pitching prospect Jhonny Nunez.
"As I told Marlon, 'You've got a chance to go to the World Series,"' Bowden said. "They've got a good club, and when you look at the teams that are going to be in the playoffs in our league, the Dodgers and Mets have as good a shot of getting to play an American League team as anybody."
The Nationals also traded first baseman Daryle Ward to Atlanta for Luis Atilano, a 21-year old pitching prospect who had Tommy John surgery on Aug. 10.
All the moves are signs of a struggling team looking to rebuild under new owner Ted Lerner. For the Nationals, the target breakout year is 2008, when they are scheduled to move into a new ballpark.
Injuries and struggles have caused so much changeover to this year's roster that most of the minor leaguers who would have been targeted for promotion have already joined the club. Bowden is adding only five call-ups Saturday.
The Nationals will purchase the contracts of infielder Melvin Dorta, outfielder George Lombard and right-handed pitchers Chris Booker and Brett Campbell from Triple-A New Orleans, and right-handed pitcher Beltran Perez from Double-A Harrisburg.
Dorta, 24, hit .433 in eight games with New Orleans. He made his major league debut in July, going 0-for-1 during a two-game stint.
Lombard, 30, returns to the majors for the first time since 2003. He spent parts of five seasons with Atlanta (1998-2000), Detroit (2002) and Tampa Bay (2003). He has recently recovered from a sports hernia.
Booker, 29, has pitched for five teams in three organizations this year. He went 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA in 15 appearances for New Orleans.
Campbell, 24, pitched at three levels in the Nationals system this season, going a combined 3-5 with 16 saves and a 3.12 ERA.
Perez, 24, went 8-6 with one save and a 3.11 ERA in 31 games (16 starts) for Harrisburg.
The Nationals also outrighted right-handed pitcher Kevin Gryboski to Triple-A New Orleans. Gryboski, 32, has a 14.29 ERA in six appearances with Washington. He allowed four runs on four hits in one inning Tuesday against Philadelphia.
Weather permitting, the new faces will get a two-for-one experience in their first day with the Nationals on Saturday, when the rainout is scheduled to be made up as a day-night doubleheader.
The scheduled starting pitchers for Friday, Washington's Billy Traber and Arizona's Miguel Batista, are pegged to start the first game. Jason Bergmann and former Nationals ace Livan Hernandez are scheduled to start the night game.