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Good news for the Nationals

The Nationals got another step closer to undoing the damage done by ex-GM Jim Bowden by passing on eternal prospect Austin Kearns and allowing both Dmitri Young and Ron Villone to file for free agency, according to mlb.com. Kearns did little to help the Nats in return for his $17.5 million over the last three years, spending most of his time on the DL and the rest of it being ineffective at the plate. Young was paid a little less ($10 million, 2 years) but was just as rickety and ineffective. Villone, at least, pitched well for the Nationals out of the pen, leading the bullpen in appearances and posting a respectable 4.25 ERA. Frankly, I was hoping they'd re-sign him, but there are other lefty relievers out there.

Catcher Josh Bard and pitcher Livan Hernandez both filed for free agency on Thursday; Bard is old and has a below-average OPS, and Livo is a mediocre innings-eater who can be replaced. I'm hoping for Pudge Rodriguez and...well, I don't know. Most of the decent free agent pitchers are going to be expensive in dollars and draft picks, so maybe the Nats would be better just sticking with the kids.

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