- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rick Short, who made his major league debut last season with the Washington Nationals after 12 years in the minors, had his contract sold to a Japanese team, the club announced yesterday.

The Nationals chose not to tender a contract to Short, 33, before Tuesday’s midnight deadline and then — at his request — sold the infielder to the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of the Japanese Baseball League for cash considerations.

Short was thrust into the spotlight in June when he was called up from Class AAA New Orleans for the first time in his professional career. He delivered an RBI single in his first major league at-bat, then was sent back the next day to New Orleans, where he continued his pursuit of a .400 batting average. He finished his minor league season at .383.

Short returned to the Nationals in September and batted .400 (6-for-15) with two homers and four RBI in 11 games before tearing his left shoulder making a play in the field.

Short was one of four players the Nationals “non-tendered,” joining infielder Junior Spivey, outfielder Alex Escobar and pitcher T.J. Tucker. Spivey is now a free agent; Escobar and Tucker both signed minor league contracts with Washington.

The Nationals tendered contracts to their six other arbitration-eligible players: second baseman/outfielder Alfonso Soriano, first baseman Nick Johnson, catcher Brian Schneider, infielder Jamey Carroll, outfielder Marlon Byrd and reliever Luis Ayala.

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