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01/24/09 8:16 PM EST

Glavine may look to sign with Nationals

Left-hander would bring veteran presence to young pitching staff

WASHINGTON -- Left-hander Tom Glavine's preference is to return to the Braves for the 2009 season. But if the parties don't reach an agreement, Glavine would have interest in joining the Nationals because of his close relationship with team president Stan Kasten, according to a person who knows the southpaw.

Glavine and Kasten were in the Braves organization together from 1987 to 2002. The question is, do the Nationals have interest Glavine? So far, general manager Jim Bowden has not called Glavine's agent, Gregg Clifton. The Nationals are currently looking to acquire young players for the long term. Glavine is 42 years old, but he would be seen as a mentor to the team's young pitching staff, which includes left-handers John Lannan and Scott Olsen.

Glavine is coming off an injury-riddled season in 2008. He appeared in only 13 games because of left shoulder and elbow injuries. Glavine already had two throwing sessions in the past week and didn't feel any pain.

"My arm strength and velocity were better than the first time out, and that's certainly reasons for encouragement," Glavine said recently. "I couldn't be happier about the way things have gone. Like I've said, my arm hasn't felt this good in years."

Glavine is considered one of the best left-handers of all time. His 305 wins ranks fourth among southpaws in Major League history.

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