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Washington Nationals: Starter Chatter - Yunesky Maya, Stephen Strasburg And Carl Pavano?

• Jinxed: Yunesky Maya's strong winter in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano, in which the 29-year-old Leones de Escogido right-hander was (4-1) with a 0.69 ERA and 41 K's after 7 GS and 39.0 IP in which he'd allowed just 21 hits, 9 walks, 3 runs (all earned) and one HR to opponents who'd hit just .164 against him, blew up last night. In 2.0 IP, the Washington Nationals' right-hander hit three batters, gave up 4 singles, 2 doubles and 5 runs, though only 3 were earned since his defense made two errors behind him. After hitting the third batter of the night to load the bases with no one out in the second, Maya struck out former Mariners' prospect Bryan LaHair and got a DP grounder from Rangers' catcher Taylor Teagarden to bring his night to an end with three runners stranded...

• Recovering: In a teleconference with reporters yesterday, the Washington Nationals' '09 no.1 overall pick, Stephen Strasburg reported that he's scheduled to meet with the doctor who performed Tommy John surgery on his right elbow, Dr. Lewis Yocum, after Christmas, at which point the 22-year-old right-hander may be able to start throwing (on schedule) just three months after the procedure. Strasburg will report to Spring Training to work with the Nats' other pitchers and catchers and should (barring any setbacks) have been throwing for a few weeks when he does. Nats's Mark Zuckerman has the full transcript if you're interested. 

• Talking?:'s Jon Morosi reported on Sunday, in a post Zack Greinke-deal article entitled, "After Greinke deal, Pavano-Twins reunion more likely", that the Washington Nationals, "who had attempted to acquire Greinke – haven’t seriously pursued [Carl] Pavano," though Mr. Morosi conceded that the Nats and Rangers, another team in the market for a starter, would likely take a look now that the Greinke deal went down. According to's Bill Ladson, the Nats didn't wait long, reaching out to Pavano's agent the same day they found out they'd failed to acquire Greinke. In an article entitled, "Nats in mix for Pavano, maybe not for Webb", Mr. Ladson writes that the Nats (without explanation) have fallen behind in their pursuit of recovering free agent Brandon Webb, whose relationship with D.C. GM Mike Rizzo was thought to have some pull, but they remain interested in the 34-going-on-35-year-old Pavano.

 "In fact," Mr. Ladson writes, "Washington and the Pavano camp had talks on Sunday." Mr. Ladson also reminds readers that free agent first baseman Derrek Lee has become the Nats' "top target" at first. Pavano's said to be looking for a 3-year deal worth $10-$11 million, per, while the 35-year-old Lee, is reportedly willing to sign for one-year at $8-10 million. 

Slow news day to start...