Nationals still looking for a lefty reliever, in the mix for Scott Downs


After the Nationals traded Ian Krol, their need for a lefty in the bullpen became even more prominent. (Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

The Nationals enter Day 3 of the winter meetings with the same hope as Day 1 and 2: landing a left-handed reliever. Some people close to the Nationals believe they will get their southpaw today, which is no guarantee they will. The Nationals feel no obligation so sign or trade for a left-handed reliever before the winter meetings end.

The Nationals remain in the mix for Scott Downs, who based on the cost to sign seems to have surged ahead of Boone Logan and J.P. Howell as the Nationals’ preference. On the trade front, the Nationals asked the A’s about Sean Doolittle and Jeremy Blevins, but Oakland had to desire to move either reliever.

Based on what Mike Rizzo said yesterday, it seems likely the Nationals will acquire only one left-handed reliever. He said Xavier Cedeno earned the right to compete for a spot after his strong 2013 season in the minors and majors, and he feels like prospects Matt Purke and Sammy Solis could provide depth in the bullpen.

In other minor news, ESPN Deportes reported that the Braves signed former Nationals right-handed Yunesky Maya to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. The Nationals released Maya earlier this winter. They signed the Cuban for $6 million over four years in 2010.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.

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Adam Kilgore · December 11, 2013