Sep 20, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Josh Willingham (16) bats during a game against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Cleveland won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

This Day In Nationals History: Nov. 10, 2008


The Nationals made a significant day on this day trading Emilio Bonifacio and two minor leaguers to the Florida Marlins for Scott Olsen and Josh Willingham.

Olsen was a top prospect (as high as 36th top prospect in baseball in 2006) for the Marlins who never lived up to his promise and was no better in Washington and after sitting out the 2011 season spent 2012 in the Chicago White Sox organization and hasn’t been back in the majors since 2010. In parts of two seasons with the Nationals he was 6-12 with a 5.76 ERA and was about 22% below league average.

Willingham played two seasons in Washington before being traded to Oakland in December 2010 for Corey Brown and Henry Rodriguez. His time in Washington was much more successful than Olsen’s. In 797 at bats over two seasons, he had a line of .263/.377/.479 with 40 HR and 117 RBI. After his one season in Oakland, he signed with Minnesota where he was one of the biggest surprises of the season. He is a free-agent again this offseason.

Bonifacio is the only player to make the major leagues on Florida’s side of the trade. In four years with the Marlins he has been more of a utility guy, playing infield and outfield. He has a line of .271/.332/.345 with the Marlins in 416 games and struggled with injuries in 2012. His best season came in 2011 when he hit .296/.360/.393 with 5 HR and 36 RBI. Injuries prevented him from repeating that this season.

The two minor leaguers traded by the Nationals were P.J. Dean and Jake Smolinski. Dean, a pitcher, never played one game in the Miami organization. His last professional action was in 2008 with Vermont in the Nationals organization. Smolinski is still with the Marlins and is an outfielder. In 2012 he played his second full season in Double A, the highest level he has reached. The 23 year old hit .257/.388/.382 in 500 plate appearances in Jacksonville.

Tags: Emilio Bonifacio Jake Smolinski Josh Willingham Scott Olsen Washington Nationals