PHILADELPHIA -- A day after hearing that teammate Ronnie Belliard signed a two-year $3.5 million extension, Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young said he wants to stay with the Nationals, but acknowledged there is a "ceiling on what to accept and not accept" in terms of a contract extension.

Young, who makes $500,000 this year, declined to say what kind of money he was looking for and said his agent, Adam Katz, was handling the negotiations.

Young is the most important player on the Nationals this season. A leader in the clubhouse and on the field, he was leading the Nationals in hitting (.340), RBIs (52) and on-base percentage (.395) entering Tuesday's action.

General manager Jim Bowden already said he wants Young to stay, but it's no secret that Young also is on the trade block. It has been reported that the Braves, Twins and Angels have interest in his services, but Young would prefer to be the Nationals' leader for the next few years.

"I've never been in a bad clubhouse," Young said. "Every clubhouse, I've ever been, there was always someone who took care of it. In later years, I've been one of those people. It's just the whole respect factor on how you approach the game. That's what I learned early on from Barry Larkin, Greg Vaughn, Ken Griffey Jr. and Brian Jordan. ... You just come and get your work done and prepare to go out there and win."

Manager Manny Acta admitted that losing Young in a trade would be a blow to one of the worst offenses in baseball.

"I hate to see him leave. If he does, a day later, I have to come to work, write a lineup without him and try to figure out a way to win as many games as possible," Acta said.

If Young were to be traded before the deadline, that would mean that Washington would likely have Robert Fick or Tony Batista play first base.

Injury report: Right-hander Shawn Hill (right elbow and left shoulder) threw live batting practice on Monday in Potomac. He threw 20 pitches without any problems. Hill is slated to throw a two-inning, 35-pitch simulated game on Wednesday afternoon in Philadelphia.

Right-hander Jason Simontacchi (right elbow) played catch from 75 feet and said he didn't have any problems. Simontacchi then did some exercises and iced the elbow. There is no timetable on when he will play a big-league game.

On the mound: On Tuesday afternoon, left-hander Ross Detwiler, the Nationals' No 1 pick in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, threw three shutout innings against the Gulf Coast Dodgers and gave up one hit. He struck out two batters and walked one. Detwiler's fastball was clocked consistently at 91-92 miles per hour.

Stat of the day: The Nationals' bullpen is a combined 17-12 with 26 saves and 3.77 ERA entering Tuesday's action.

Did you know: The Nationals' starters have 36 quality starts this season.

Coming up: The Nationals play the second game of a three-game series against the Phillies on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. ET. Washington southpaw Matt Chico (4-6, 4.65) will face Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels (11-5, 3.69).