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Posted at 05:41 PM ET, 03/29/2012

Nationals release Jason Michaels, sign Zach Duke

The Nationals announced they released Jason Michaels, which makes it unlikely the 34-year-old left fielder will report to Class AAA Syracuse.

Earlier today, Manager Davey Johnson said the Nationals reassigned Michaels and infielder Andres Blanco to Syracuse. But Michaels had an out clasue in his minor league contract, meaning he is free to sign with any other club.

In the case of Blanco, who also has an out clause, the Nationals stuck with the term “reassigned.” Both Blanco’s status and Michaels’s status are in flux, but most likely Michaels will find a new team and Blanco will report to Class AAA Syracuse.

With Michaels cut, outfielders Brett Carroll and Xavier appear like locks to make the Nationals’ opening day roster.

“It’s no secret I like the way Carroll fits,” Johnson said. “He’s a little better fit for what we’re trying to do. Nady is a nice fit, too.”

The Nationals also signed left-handed starting pitcher Zach Duke, who was released this week by the Astros. Duke, 29, went 3-4 with a 4.93 ERA last year with the Diamondbacks. The Nationals will use him as depth at Syracuse.

“Our depth is not what it was last year, the starting pitcher at that level,” Johsnon said. “That was a good pick-up.”

The Nationals also optioned right-handed reliever Ryan Perry to Class AAA Syracuse.

By  |  05:41 PM ET, 03/29/2012

 
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