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Nats unlikely to deal for Taveras

Nats unlikely to deal for Taveras

WASHINTON -- There have been various reports that the Nationals have interest in center fielder Willy Taveras and catcher Gerald Laird, but a source familiar with the Nationals said that was not the case.

The Nationals are looking for a center fielder, but it appears they have their sights set on Rockies center fielder Carlos Gonzalez. They also could stick with Lastings Milledge at the spot.

The Nationals did have interest in Taveras after the 2005 season, which he spent with the Astros, but nothing came of those trade discussions. Taveras had one of his worst seasons in 2008, hitting .251 with an on-base percentage of .308 for the Rockies.

Interest in Laird, who was traded from the Rangers to the Tigers on Sunday night, was implausible because catching is the least of the Nationals' problems. Jesus Flores and Wil Nieves were a productive duo last year; Flores finished second on the team in RBIs with 59, and Nieves was a steady backup behind the plate and with the bat.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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