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12/25/10 12:41 PM EST

Nats remain in mix as Pavano decision nears

Free-agent pitcher likely to pick 2011 team after Christmas

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals remain in the mix to sign right-hander Carl Pavano, according to a baseball source. Pavano will most likely make a decision on his destination after the Christmas holiday.

Pavano, 34, is coming off the best season of his career, going 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA with the Twins, a team that still has a chance to keep him. If Pavano decides to sign with the Nationals, it will be his second tour of duty with the franchise.

Pavano began his Major League career with the Expos in 1998 and left the organization in 2002, when he was traded to the Marlins. His best season in Montreal was in 2000, when he went 8-4 with a 3.06 ERA in 15 starts.

The Nationals have been looking to acquire starting pitching all offseason, but have come up short -- so far. They thought they had a deal to acquire right-hander Zack Greinke from the Royals, but Greinke used his no-trade clause and turned them down.

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.