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Nationals' Willingham on Mets' radar

Nationals' Willingham on Mets' radar

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Add the Mets as one of the teams who have interest in Nationals left fielder Josh Willingham, according to a baseball source. The Giants, Mariners and Braves are the other teams who are reportedly interested in acquiring his services.

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The Mets had problems finding a regular left fielder this past season. They used nine players at the position who hit a combined .276 with 12 home runs and 76 RBIs. Willingham started the 2009 season on the bench, but became the everyday left fielder starting in June and hit .260 with 24 home runs and 61 RBIs.

Willingham is not only an outfielder. He can play first base and go behind the plate in emergency situations.

"Willingham is the only player on the Nationals [the Mets] are interested in," the source said.

Don't look for the Nats to give Willingham away. Washington would most likely want pitching in return. Who it wants from New York is not known, though. If Willingham were to leave, the Nationals most likely will give Roger Bernadina or Justin Maxwell a chance to play left field. Don't rule out the two players platooning at the position.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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