Now Commenting On:

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }

Howell interested in playing for Nationals

Howell interested in playing for Nationals

Howell interested in playing for Nationals
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Nationals are looking for a second left-handed reliever to join Zach Duke -- who was re-signed on the first day of the Winter Meetings -- and free-agent southpaw J.P. Howell has expressed an interest in playing in the nation's capital.

Howell, 29, had a nice comeback season for the Rays in 2012, appearing in 55 games and recording a 3.04 ERA and 42 strikeouts. He can serve as a lefty specialist or pitch in the late innings.

Howell's best season came in 2008, when he helped the Rays win the American League pennant.

"I love [the Nationals'] style, and they are absolutely loaded," Howell said via telephone. "They have so much talent. They are championship contenders. ... They are truly a heavyweight. Personally speaking, I would be a great fit. I think the leader on that team, Jayson Werth, is a great guy. I know Davey Johnson from the [World Baseball Classic]. It was a pleasure to be around a guy like that. ... If I could fit on the ride, that would be amazing."

Howell said that the current Nats team reminds him of those 2008 Rays, who won the pennant with players mostly from their farm system.

"In 2008, we relied on team camaraderie," Howell said. "We had talent, and we had great guys that could fill roles. We had leadership in Evan Longoria. I don't know too much yet, but the Nationals look stacked. They picked up Dan Haren [on Tuesday]. He is a championship-type pitcher with the rest of the crew. It's hard to make a team like that better. They seem to have done that today."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español