'Incaviglia Rule' delays Turner's Nats arrival

Padres' top 2014 Draft choice traded to complete December deal involving Myers

'Incaviglia Rule' delays Turner's Nats arrival

Last December, the Padres, Rays and Nationals were able to work out the details of a three-team, 11-player trade. The centerpiece of the deal was outfielder Wil Myers, who went from Tampa Bay to San Diego. All of the contracts were duly transferred to the proper teams.

Except one.

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When the figurative smoke cleared, the Nationals were still due to receive a player to be named. Six months later, as it turned out. On Sunday, it was announced that Washington would be receiving Trea Turner, the North Carolina State shortstop who was San Diego's 2014 first-round Draft choice, the 13th player selected overall.

"We're happy to complete this trade and add an exceptional talent to our fold," said Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo said of Turner, ranked by MLB.com as the Nationals' No. 3 prospect and the No. 54 prospect in baseball. "From the outset, this was a complex deal, but we thought it was one that would better our organization for the present as well as the long term. That's always our goal. We look forward to getting Trea into our Minor League System."

The Nationals sent outfielder Steven Souza Jr. and Minor League left-hander Travis Ott to the Tampa Bay Rays as a part of the trade.

Nationals acquire Turner

Turner was named the Padres' Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 after posting a .984 fielding percentage in 50 games at shortstop between Short-Season Single-A Eugene and Single-A Fort Wayne.

The 21-year-old joins the Nationals after batting .322 (73-for-227) with 13 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 35 RBIs while with San Diego's Double-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions, this season. Turner's .322 batting average ranked third in the Texas League at the time of the trade.

The reason for this situation was the rule that prohibits players from being traded within the first year after they've been drafted.

And the reason for that rule goes all the way back to 1985, when the Montreal Expos, with the eighth selection overall, selected slugging outfielder Pete Incaviglia out of Oklahoma State.

But the Expos couldn't sign Incaviglia, who held out for a Major League contract. Eventually convinced that they wouldn't be able to sign their top pick, the Expos traded him to the Rangers the following November for infielder Jimmy Anderson and right-hander Bob Sebra.

Anderson was released the following spring, and Sebra went 11-20 in two years with the Expos before being traded to the Phillies for Travis Chambers, who never played in the big leagues.

Incaviglia stepped right into the Rangers' lineup, batting cleanup for Texas on Opening Day and went on to have a solid 12-year career that included 206 home runs.

So there was a good reason for what became known as the Incaviglia Rule. And for years, it worked pretty well. But Turner's situation changed the landscape and MLB has reacted again. Earlier this season, teams were informed that, beginning with this year's draft, any player picked can now be traded as soon as the World Series ends.

Paul Hagen is a reporter for MLB.com. Brandon Curry contributed reporting. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.