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Estrada agent: Nothing's final. Source: Physical is Thursday

David Schwartz, the agent for free agent catcher Johnny Estrada, would not say that a deal with the Nationals is done - yet - in a phone conversation I just had with him. But a source with knowledge of the deal said Estrada's physical is scheduled for Thursday, so an announcement should come shortly after that.

Still, here's Schwartz: "It's not done. I'll be happy to talk at great length when and if something happens. I know there's a report out there, but I'd say that report is premature."

Premature or not, the Nats will want to check him out carefully. He had surgery in early October to repair both a partially torn meniscus (sound familiar?) in one of his knees and, at the very same time, surgery to remove a bone spur on his right elbow. Renowned orthopedist James Andrews performed both surgeries in Birmingham, Ala.

Schwartz said the injuries obviously affected his defense last year. That, of course, is what agents are supposed to do.

"He was in pain constantly," Schwartz said. "It affected both his throwing and his hitting. I would expect both would improve in 2008. One of the things Johnny took a lot of flak for after the season were his caught-stealing numbers. But he was a trooper during the season and kept the injury to himself."

I asked Schwartz how Estrada would feel about a reduced role. This is, after all, a guy who has played in at least 105 games every season since 2004.

"We'll talk about that if and when something happens," Schwartz said.

Again, if everything works out -- and there's no reason to expect it wouldn't -- this would almost certainly put Jesus Flores in the minors for a year. How does everyone feel about that?

By Barry Svrluga  |  January 29, 2008; 2:54 PM ET
 
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