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For Nats Outfielder Logan, a Familiar Position

Still, new Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Logan before 2006 that he was the leading contender to play center. The problem: Logan struggled in spring training, and Granderson soared. The solution: Logan went to the minors. Granderson was a starter in the World Series.

"I was pressing, worrying about getting hits," Logan said.

Those experiences, he said, will color the way he approaches this spring training. "I needed a new start, and now I have one," he said. Though shortstop Cristian Guzman -- he of the .298 career on-base percentage -- will be given the first shot to hit second behind leadoff man Felipe Lopez, Acta said he will keep his eye on Logan, who struggles hitting left-handed but has shown the ability to bunt for a hit, and who hit .300 in his 27 games with Washington last season.

"I think he can develop into a top-of-the-order guy," Acta said.

Logan believes it, too.

"I know I can do the job," he said. "Now, I just have to show everybody here I can do it every single day."

Nationals Notes: The club yesterday avoided arbitration with Lopez, their former shortstop and new second baseman, by agreeing to a one-year, $3.9 million contract. Lopez, who hit .281 with a .362 on-base percentage after Washington acquired him in a July trade with Cincinnati, earned $2.7 million last season. The Nationals still have four arbitration-eligible players: closer Chad Cordero, right-hander John Patterson and outfielders Austin Kearns and Alex Escobar. . . .

The agent for right-hander Tomo Ohka said his client will likely decide on which team to sign with today or tomorrow. Jim Masteralexis declined to comment on Ohka's likely destination, sources said it was unlikely to be Washington. Ohka, who pitched for the Nationals in 2005, is most likely headed to Toronto. . . .

The club began its week-long "caravan" throughout the area yesterday with a morning appearance at Kimball Elementary School in the District, when the Nationals announced they had officially "adopted" the school. "It's inspiring for these kids," Principal Sheila West-Miller said. The team will give tickets to top students and have players and front-office members make appearances throughout the school year.

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