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Nationals among teams interested in J.P Howell

After losing Sean Burnett to the Los Angeles Angels in free agency, the Nationals are looking to pick up some bullpen help.

Darren Hauck

The Washington Nationals are expected to be one of the top contenders in 2013 for a World Series championship. To achieve that, the franchise is looking for more pitching depth, especially in the bullpen, according to MLB.com writer Bill Ladson.

Washington lost Sean Burnett in free agency, one of the key members of its bullpen the late innings last year. Now, the Nationals have turned their attention to J.P. Howell, a former Tampa Bay Ray who has been quite effective in recent years.

Last year, the 29-year-old southpaw was good, compiling a 3.04 ERA in 55 games. His only big issues can be wildness at times. Howell struck out 42 batters in 50 1/3 innings in 2012, but also walked 22.

In his last four years, Howell had a 3.04 ERA or lower except in 2011, when he had a terrible 6.16 in 46 appearances out of the pen.