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And what of Washington’s own free agents, most notably pitchers Esteban Loaiza and Hector Carrasco? The chances of re-signing either appear to be dwindling with each passing day.

Bowden met with Tom Reich, Carrasco’s agent, on Tuesday. Coming off a spectacular season as both a reliever and a late-season emergency starter, the veteran right-hander is going to be seeking a multiyear deal, and it’s debatable whether the Nationals will devote a sizeable amount of their limited budget to a pitcher who turns 36 later this month.

Washington has even more ground to make up with Loaiza, who after winning 12 games with a 3.77 ERA last season is seeking a three-year contract in the range of $20 million. The Nationals have come nowhere close to matching those demands, and agent John Boggs is ready to take his client elsewhere.

“Esteban would have liked to return to Washington,” Boggs said. “They just haven’t developed an offer that’s anywhere near competitive to what we think we’re going to find in the free agent market. … Come Friday, all bets are off.”