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Source: Nats close to deal with infielder Kennedy

The Nationals, recovering quickly from their failure to sign free-

agent second baseman Orlando Hudson, are close to finalizing a deal

with infielder Adam Kennedy, according to a major-league source.

Kennedy, 34, is expected to be the Nationals' second baseman, enabling

Cristian Guzman to remain at shortstop.

The Nats had talked about moving Guzman to second to clear short for

rookie Ian Desmond. The addition of Kennedy will allow Desmond more

time to develop at Class AAA.

Kennedy, an 11-year veteran, had a .758 OPS for the A's last season,

his highest since 2002 with the Angels. The majority of his playing

time for the A's was at third base.

The Nationals remain among the busiest teams this off-season; Kennedy

will become their sixth major-league free-agent addition, and the club

still could add another starting pitcher.

Previously, the Nats signed right-hander Jason Marquis, catcher Ivan

Rodriguez, left-hander Scott Olsen and relievers Matt Capps and Tyler

Walker.

The Nats also acquired reliever Brian Bruney in a trade, and signed

relievers Miguel Batista and Eddie Guardado to minor-league contracts.