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Nationals 'aggressively pursuing' Wang

Nationals 'aggressively pursuing' Wang

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are "aggressively pursuing" free-agent right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, according to a baseball source. It's not certain whether Washington has formally extended an offer just yet.

The source went so far as to say that Wang could make a decision within the next 10 days, and the Nationals are one of the finalists to acquire his services. Washington did not confirm it's interested in the 29-year-old hurler.

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Last week, it was reported by MLB.com that Washington was monitoring Wang's progress.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo announced at FanFest on Jan. 31 that the team was looking for one more veteran starter.

"During the early part of the winter, we made sure we got things done," Rizzo said. "I made sure we had a Major League veteran starter, Major League catcher and improved the bullpen. We took care of that.

"I think during the second half of the offseason, we are going to let a little bit of that come to us. We do think there is a surplus of people out there ... that we are talking about. There is nobody ... out there on the pitching market that is a difference maker."

Wang is still recovering from arthroscopic shoulder surgery that he had in late July. As of last week, Wang was throwing from 120 feet and is not in any pain. There is no timetable as to when Wang will throw off a mound.

When healthy, Wang has proven he can be a big winner. In 2006 and '07, Wang went a combined 38-13 with a 3.67 ERA for the Yankees. But over the past two years, Wang has been hampered by injuries, pitching a combined 27 games. In '08, he didn't pitch after the All-Star break because of a foot injury.

Wang is best remembered in Washington for giving up Ryan Zimmerman's first career walk-off home run, on June 18, 2006.

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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