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12/11/08 12:30 AM EST

With one offer out there, Nats on hunt

Eight-year deal on table for Teixeira; pitching may be next priority

LAS VEGAS -- The Nationals stayed busy at the annual Winter Meetings on Wednesday.

While he wouldn't give out the names of the teams with which he was talking, general manager Jim Bowden confirmed to reporters that the Nationals are still looking for pitching help.

But instead of making a deal or signing a free agent, Washington's only move on Day 3 was to release reliever Jesus Colome, who was arbitration-eligible. He appeared in 61 games and had a 4.31 ERA last year. He was often used as a setup man.

"Based on what the market is, with his numbers, we just didn't feel that it made sense to allocate those dollars at that level -- that's why we made the decision to release him," Bowden said.

The big news of the day was that the Nationals offered Mark Teixeira an eight-year, $160 million deal. Bowden would not talk about money or any part of the negotiations, but said he would like to have a player like Teixeira long-term.

Another source wouldn't go into details about Teixeira's contract demands, but said the switch-hitting first baseman is looking for a contract that is better than Miguel Cabrera's deal.

The Tigers first baseman signed an eight-year, $153.3 million contract during Spring Training this past season. The source pointed out that Teixeira is a complete player and is in better shape than Cabrera. The Nationals' offer is more than Cabrera's current contract.

"We made a very significant concrete offer and Teixeira is our No. 1 priority," Bowden said. "I tried to be up front and honest. We are trying to build this club through development and scouting, through young players, through trades for young players. We also said if it was a free agent who was young and in his 20s, [we would want him] to be part of the long-term solution."

Meanwhile, right-hander Tim Redding wasn't surprised to find himself on the trade block. On Tuesday, erroneous reports surfaced that Redding was traded to the Rockies for center fielder Willy Taveras, but the two teams never came close to a deal.

Colorado has been interested in Redding since before the July 31 Trade Deadline.

"The Rockies have a good core of young talent, but I have not heard from Bowden, [Nationals assistant general manager] Mike Rizzo or [team president] Stan Kasten," said Redding.

Redding, who is arbitration-eligible, was 10-11 with a 4.95 ERA in 33 starts. During the first half, Redding was one of the team's best pitchers, going 7-3 with a 3.85 ERA, but he slumped badly after the All-Star break and went 3-8 with a 6.92 ERA.

The reason for the slump, it turns out, was that he had left foot problems. After having surgery in late November, Redding is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Redding said that he had felt pain when he landed on his foot, but thought nothing of it.

"I'm not trying to make excuses -- I thought maybe my cleats were too tight," Redding said. "I should be ready to do my duties when I go to Spring Training."

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