Nationals Notes: MacDougal, Dukes, Flores

Let's take a look at some Nationals tidbits courtesy of the latest mailbag from MLB.com's Bill Ladson and Phil Wood of MASNsports.com:

  • Mike MacDougal is currently the favorite to be the Nats' closer in 2010.  In 52 appearances last season, the 32-year-old posted an ERA of 3.60 but had as many walks as he did strikeouts.  However, the club could be looking to upgrade as Ladson hears that they are interested in acquiring free agent reliever Mike Gonzalez.  If they ink Gonzalez, Ladson sees the two men sharing the closer role.
  • Don't expect Washington to make a move for free agent right fielder Jermaine Dye, as Elijah Dukes will be allowed to showcase his potential as the starter.
  • The Nationals are not content with Wil Nieves as their starting catcher as they await a clean bill of health for Jesus Flores.  Instead, they would like to get a catcher who can play every day in the event that Flores is not ready for Spring Training or Opening Day.
  • Wood writes that while it is something of a long shot, the Nationals have the cash available this offseason to sign Rich Harden.  While the 27-year-old wouldn't come cheap, he will not require the forfeiture of a draft pick as he is a Type B free agent.

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