The Nationals have already made it known they're searching for a possible No. 1 starter -- and it appears they'll look everywhere from the scrap heap to the Far East.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com writes the Nationals will scout former Cy Young Award-winner Brandon Webb and the Washington Post 's Adam Kilgore writes the team could pursue Japanese ace Yu Darvish.
Webb is scheduled to pitch in an instructional league game on Saturday in Tucson, as well as on Thursday at Chase Field in Phoenix. Webb hasn't pitched this season and is a free agent after it ends.
Ladson also writes Webb would be interested in pitching for the Nationals if he doesn't re-sign with the Diamondbacks. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was director of scouting with the Diamondbacks in 2000 when the team drafted Webb.
Darvish could be posted by his team, the Nippon Ham Fighters (Ham, by the way, goes with Nippon, not Fighters -- Nippon Ham is the sponsor of the Fighters). Darvish, 23, started his professional career at 19, when he posted a 2.89 ERA -- his highest by a run in his career. Darvish went 12-8 this season with a 1.78 ERA, 222 strikeouts and 1.01 WHIP.
Darvish could cost as much as $25 million just to win the posting -- that money goes to his team, while his contract negotiations are separate.
Kilgore writes the Nationals have seen Darvish in person at least nine times and have recommended to the front office that he is worth pursuing.
-- C. Trent Rosecrans
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