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12/18/2006 3:51 PM ET
Nationals acquire pair of prospects from Seattle in exchange for second baseman Jose Vidro
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The Washington Nationals, via a three-player trade today, have added a pair of prospects, both of whom are 25 years-old or younger and ranked among the Mariners' top 10 prospects entering the 2006 campaign, according to Baseball America.

The Nationals today acquired right-handed pitcher Emiliano Fruto and outfielder Chris Snelling from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for second baseman Jose Vidro and cash considerations. Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.

Fruto, 22, entered the 2006 season rated as Seattle's No. 8 prospect according to Baseball America. In 28 appearances last season with Tacoma of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League, Fruto recorded a .204 batting average against en route to 10 saves and a 3.18 ERA. Following the 2005 campaign, Fruto was rated as the top relief prospect in the Double-A Texas League in a poll of managers. He throws a mid-90's fastball, and both his curveball and changeup have been rated as the best in the Mariners' system, per Baseball America, in recent years.

A native of Bolivar, Columbia, Fruto debuted at the big league level with Seattle last season, going 2-2 with one save, one hold and a 5.50 ERA in 23 games out of the bullpen. In doing so, Fruto became the first Columbian to pitch at the Major League level. Fruto, who stands 6-foot-3 and 240 lbs., struck out 8.5 batters per 9.0 innings pitched and posted a .246 batting average against with the Mariners as a rookie.

One of minor league baseball's top hitters since becoming a pro, Snelling hit .300 or better in each of his first seven professional seasons at the minor-league level, including a .370 mark in 65 Triple-A contests in 2005. Snelling joins the Nationals after hitting .250 with six doubles, three home runs and eight RBI in 36 late-season games last year with Seattle.

Snelling, 25, entered 2006 rated by Baseball America as the Mariners' No. 4 prospect, due in large part to a career .396 on-base percentage at the minor-league level. Snelling was born in Miami, FL, but graduated from high school in his hometown of Gorokan, Australia, before representing the Aussies in the 2000 Summer Olympics on home soil. Snelling's hitting exploits in the Mariners' system earned big league stints with Seattle three times (2002, 2005-06) in the last five seasons.

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