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King of the Bullpen... and lineups

Just spoke to Ray King in the Nationals' clubhouse, and mentioned how the March 24 deadline was approaching for the Nationals to decide whether to guarantee the $850,000 minor league contract he signed this winter, and he said he was informed earlier today that it would be picked up -- meaning he's on the team. I suspect the team will announce this later in the day.

It appears, then, that the Nationals' bullpen is set: Cordero, Rauch, Ayala, Colome, Rivera, Hanrahan and King. Though, again, this is unofficial. Chris Schroder, presumably, goes to Columbus.

As for the move to send Matt Whitney back to Cleveland -- yes, the Nationals did attempt to make a trade with the Indians in order to keep Whitney, but the Indians insisted on getting true prospects in return and the teams could never agree on names.

Lineup for today's 1 p.m. start against the Atlanta Braves
For Atlanta:
Johnson, 2B
Escobar, SS
Jones, 3B
Teixeira, 1B
McCann, C
Francoeur, RF
Diaz, LF
Kotsay, CF
Jurrjens, P

For Washington:
Lopez, SS
Milledge, CF
Zimmerman, 3B
Johnson, 1B
Kearns, RF
Mackowiak, LF
Belliard, 2B
Flores, C
Lannan, P

By Dave Sheinin  |  March 22, 2008; 11:16 AM ET
 
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