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Michael Bourn likely to test free agency

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Michael Bourn likely to test free agency

The MLB offseason may be a ways away, but one key player that could find his way to Washington over the winter is sending serious signs he may be available for the right price.

Atlanta Braves outfielder Michael Bourn is unlikely to re-sign with his current team because his asking price may be too high. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe first reported the news citing a pessimistic Braves club who reportedly "aren't holding out much hope" to retain the two-time All-Star.

Bourn is enjoying perhaps his best season and fits a need for the Nats as a leadoff hitting center fielder. He hits for a good average, steals bases, and plays stellar defense. He also happens to be a client of Scott Boras.

The Nationals will have money to spend, but it could come down to simply finding a place for Bourn in the lineup. He fits a logical need, but if he joins the outfield Michael Morse would likely have to move to the infield. Morse to the infield would force a decision between he and Adam LaRoche, who with a team option for 2013, has been the team's most consistent bat this season.

LaRoche has proven invaluable this year for the team and is better defensively than Morse. He is also a left-handed bat, although Bourn hits lefty as well.

All things considered equal, Bourn would fit nicely in the outfield with Bryce Harper and Morse. But Jayson Werth carries the team's biggest contract and because of that likely has a secure place in the lineup. His salary escalates to 16 million in 2013 and goes up to 20 million the following year. Harper is also going nowhere.

If Bourn is signed by Washington dominoes will surely fall, they would likely trade one of their players away or part with LaRoche via free agency. It could come down to money and how long of a deal Bourn wants.

Bourn, 29, is hitting .291 this season with a career-high nine home runs, 50 RBI (second most in career), and a National League-best 30 stolen bases. That sure sounds good placed at the top of the Nationals' lineup, but signing him wouldn't exactly be an easy decision for general manager Mike Rizzo. Signing Bourn would, however, weaken perhaps the Nats' biggest threat in the division for years to come.

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Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL, will miss Nationals' postseason

Wilson Ramos has a torn ACL, will miss Nationals' postseason

Wilson Ramos' season — and postseason — is officially over.

Manager Dusty Baker announced on Tuesday afternoon that the team's starting catcher suffered a torn ACL in their 14-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Monday night and will undergo surgery to fix the tear.

Ramos underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning to assess the damage and the news was not good. 

The injury occurred following a rain delay in the sixth inning when Ramos attempted to catch an errant throw home from Ryan Zimmerman. Ramos landed awkwardly and crumpled to the dirt in pain.

RELATED: WITH SEASON COMING TO A CLOSE, NATS DESPERATE TO STAY HEALTHY

To make matters worse, the injury occurred on the same knee that Ramos injured in 2012, when he needed surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL.

"I think it's time for us as a whole to take care of him," Baker told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. "Because he's taken pretty good care of us."

It's a heartbreaking injury considering Ramos was having a stellar season, highlighted by his first All-Star Game appearance and that the postseason is just a week away.

"He is upbeat," Baker said. "He knows other guys have come back from this. Told him about Adrian Peterson, but he didn't know who that was."

The team called up 2012 fifth-round pick Spencer Kieboom to take Ramos' spot on the roster.

The Nationals will open postseason play against the N.L. West Division champion Los Angeles Dodgers

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Nats call up catcher Spencer Kieboom after Wilson Ramos' injury

Nats call up catcher Spencer Kieboom after Wilson Ramos' injury

The day after Wilson Ramos suffered a right knee injury in their 14-4 loss to the Diamondbacks on Monday night, the Nationals called up catcher Spencer Kieboom from the Double-A Harrisburg Senators.

Ramos, 29, was scheduled for an MRI on Tuesday morning.

This would certainly point towards the All-Star backstop at least missing some time.

The Nationals now have four catchers on their roster with Jose Lobaton and Pedro Severino also in store.

Ramos hurt himself landing on his right leg after jumping for a ball thrown home in the top of the sixth inning. Ramos previously tore his ACL and MCL in the same knee back in 2012.

Kieboom, 25, was a fifth-round pick out of Clemson in 2012.

He holds a .264 average in 297 career minor league games. He hit .230 through 94 games at Harrisburg this season.

RELATED: NATS DESPERATE TO STAY HEALTHY AS PLAYOFFS APPROACH

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