"No matter what the budget number is, there is going to be room for at least one big starting pitcher." - Jim Bowden (10/31/05).
Let's hope by "big" he's not tipping us off that the Nats have ex-Oriole Sidney Ponson in their sights.
No, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson, Jim Bowden has held preliminary discussions with the agents for free agent starters A.J. Burnett (12-12 3.44 ERA in 32 games in '05), Kevin Millwood (9-11 2.86 ERA in 30 games in '05), and Jarrod Washburn (8-8 3.20 ERA in 29 games in '05). Nats should steer clear of clubhouse cancer Burnett, and focus on Millwood and Washburn.
Meanwhile, Hector Carrasco filed for free agency. Bowden has indicated that resigning Carrasco will be a top priority in the offseason.
According to Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post, the Nats have debunked the rumor that Bobby Valentine has been contacted about replacing Frank Robinson.
Newly minted World Champs have decided not to pick up a 2006 club option for Carl Everett, who filed for free agency. Look for Bowden to make a big push to sign ex-expo Everett, who will probably won't spend much time hanging around the Natural History Museum should he sign with Washington.
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