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Nats could try to add Buck as backup catcher

Nats could try to add Buck as backup catcher

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Nats could try to add Buck as backup catcher

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The Nationals are looking for a backup catcher. A baseball source said the Nats have interest in catcher John Buck, who hit a combined .219 with 15 home runs and 62 RBIs for the Mets and Pirates in 2013. Buck's best season was in '10, when he hit .281 with 20 home runs and 66 RBIs with the Blue Jays.

The Nationals are looking for someone who could play every day in case Wilson Ramos misses a significant amount of time.

The team entered the offseason having interest in Ryan Hanigan and Jose Molina, but they both ended up going to the Rays.

One would think that the Nationals would have interest in Rays catcher Jose Lobaton after Tampa Bay acquired Hanigan and Molina. But the source said Lobaton is not on the radar. In limited action, Lobaton hit .249 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs this past season.

"Buck has experience. He is a right-handed hitter and he throws well and his defense is still strong," an American League scout said. "[Lobaton] is much younger. He is an average thrower. He doesn't throw out that many guys. For a backup catcher, I would rather have an experienced guy. John Buck has a lot more power than [Lobaton] does."

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.

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