Dec 23, 2012, 1:00 PM EST
|Photo by USA Today Images|
The Nationals and Adam LaRoche continue to talk, but how close they are is hard to tell. If there really is a Christmas deadline then we should see something go down in the next few days. It is, though, a self-imposed deadline at the end of the day.
In their search for a left-handed reliever, J.P. Howell is still out there and mutual interest is said to exist. But right now, half-way through the offseason, Howell is the best lefty reliever still available on the free agent market. He’s also just 29 and probably wants a multi-year deal.
Earlier this week it was reported that five teams are looking into Howell and that could drive the price up. If Howell’s demands are too high, the Nats’ need for a lefties in the bullpen could be solved whenever the first base situation is settled via trade.
Another lefty possibility is Mike Gonzalez who had a comeback year of sorts in Washington in 2013, but the Reds are also interested. This was reported by Jim Bowden who knows both organizations very well.
The Phils may be looking to add a familiar face in Raul Ibanez, a member of their team from 2009-11. They are the only National League team being linked to the 40-year-old so it would seem like an outside possibility he signs with his former team. Ibanez is probably best served as a designated hitter at this point in his career.
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