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12/5/07 What Will Jesus Flores Do In Venezuela, Nationals Seeking Veteran Backstop...

     In 22 games for the Navegantes del Magallanes(Magellan's Navigators) of the Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional(Venezuelan Professional Baseball League), Jesus Flores, the Washington Nationals twenty-three year old catcher, has managed a .231 BA in 29 at bats, with 9 hits, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, and 6 RBI's...

     ...With Jesus Flores the only catcher on the 40 Man Roster, the Nationals are said to be in the market for a veteran backstop as the Winter Meetings in Nashville draw to a close, that is  according to...

     ...The Washington Times' Mark Zuckerman, who writes today, in his article, "Clippard acquired in trade" that, "One of the Nationals' top priorities remains acquiring a catcher who could share duties with Jesus Flores." Mr Zuckerman mentions free agent Damian Miller as a possible target for signing or a possible trade for Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamonbacks...

     ...Washington Post's Barry Svrluga says in his article, "Nationals Pursue Lo Duca" that...well I guess the title really says it all. Paul Lo Duca, a thirty-five year old free agent after two years in New York is, according to Mr. Svrluga, in negotiations with Toronto, however...

     ...So, Mr. Svrluga seconds Mr. Zuckerman's reports by writing that the Nationals are "pursuing" Miller, Montero, and also Johnny Estrada, who is about to become the second catcher put out of a job by Brian Schneider when the Mets cut Estrada loose or trade him...

     ...and mlb.com's Nationals beat writer Bill Ladson, in his article, "Notes: Nats still hunting for catcher" mentions Lo Duca, Estrada, and Montero as possible targets, singling out Johnny Estrada as being the "top target for the Nationals," and noting Estrada's history with Stan Kasten and Pat Corrales from when they were all Braves...

     ...the Nationals also added two catchers on Nov. 27th when the organization signed a total 19 Minor League free agents, among them veterans Humberto Cota, (29, who leaves Pittsburgh after seven years in the organization over which he combined to hit .233 with 10 HR's and 50 RBI's), and Chad Moeller, (32, played for Cincy and LA in '07, .224 AVG, 26 HR's, 113 RBI's over 8 MLB seasons)...

     ...What does seem certain though, in light of Brian Schneider's departure, is that Jesus Flores, who, as a Rule 5 pick, had to remain on the Nationals roster throughout the '07 season, and who had never played above Class-A baseball beforehand, will not be returning to the Minors in '08. Pat Corrales, whatever veteran catcher the Nationals sign and Manny Acta or going to see What Jesus Flores Can Do in DC...

*Jesus Flores/Catcher? Links*

Jesus Flores' stats at thebaseballcube.com:

http://thebaseballcube.com/players/F/Jesus-Flores.shtml

Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional(Venezuelan Professional Baseball League) official website:

http://www.lvbp.com/noticias.asp

Jesus Flores' Venezuelan Winter League stats courtesy of mlb.com:

http://www.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Jesus%20Flores&pos=C&sid=l135&t=p_pbp&pid= 435520

Mark Zuckerman's Washington Times (washingtontimes.com) article, "Clippard acquired in trade":

http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071205/SPORTS02/112050085/1005/SPORTS

Barry Svrluga's Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) article entitled, "Nationals Pursue Lo Duca":

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/05/AR2007120502810.html

mlb.com's Bill Ladson's article, "Notes: Nats still hunting for catcher" at washington.nationals.mlb.com:

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071205&content_id=2319242&vkey=ne ws_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was