WASHINGTON NATIONALS

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The immediate reaction to Wednesday night's trade — the Nationals sent All-Star reliever Tyler Clippard to the Athletics for journeyman infielder Yunel Escobar — was fairly passionate.

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The Nationals have addressed their one glaring lineup weakness, but it will cost them their most-reliable reliever, not to mention one of the most popular players in club history.

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Seeking to bolster their catching depth, the Nationals acquired minor-league veteran Dan Butler from the Red Sox, sending rehabbing left-hander Danny Rosenbaum to Boston in exchange.

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Aside from the still-up-in-the-air situation at second base, the Nationals know who's going to be in their regular 2015 starting lineup.

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The Nationals signed two more veterans to minor-league contracts Tuesday, offering outfielder/first baseman Mike Carp and catcher Steven Lerud invitations to big-league camp and a chance to make t

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