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Belliard likely not leaving Washington

Belliard likely not leaving

WASHINGTON -- Multiple media reports have indicated that the Dodgers were awarded a waiver claim on Nationals infielder Ronnie Belliard on Thursday.

But with shortstop Alberto Gonzalez on the disabled list with a left hamstring strain and Cristian Guzman out nursing a left thumb contusion, the Nationals may need to keep Belliard -- second on the team with 10 home runs and one of the few players on their roster with experience at shortstop.

Belliard, who started there for the second straight night on Friday, declined to comment.

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The Dodgers would have had an exclusive 48-hour window after the claim to reach a deal with the Nationals for Belliard.

However, a baseball source confirmed to MLB.com on Thursday night that Nationals general manager Jim Bowden and his Dodgers counterpart Ned Colletti hadn't spoken at all this week. Los Angeles may have been trying to prevent Belliard from landing with Arizona, which lost second baseman Orlando Hudson to a left wrist injury.

Once the negotiating window expires, Belliard cannot be placed on waivers again.

He has been a jack-of-all-trades for Washington this season, playing every infield position but catcher.

But with the acquisition of Emilio Bonifacio at second and Ryan Zimmerman's return from the disabled list to third, Belliard had largely been relegated to the bench before the recent slew of injuries.

Zachary Osterman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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