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03/12/09 2:54 PM ET

Nats have decision to make on Casto

With no Minors options left, it's either 25-man roster or waivers

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Infielder/outfielder Kory Casto is out of Minor League options, and the Nationals have to make a decision on the left-handed hitter by the end of Spring Training.

They could keep Casto on the 25-man roster or place him on waivers with a chance of another club picking him up. If there is no interest from the other 29 clubs, Casto could be outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse.

Casto, 27, is hoping that he stays with Washington for the next few years, but he's realistic about the situation.

"It has definitely happened to people before in this situation," Casto said. "If it happens to me, it happens. It's not what I want to happen. I would love to be around here for the next few years and be part of what's going on. It's the only team I've been with my entire career. I would like to continue to be here."

The chances of Casto making the Major League roster are slim, because the Nationals are loaded with outfielders, and third and first base belong to Ryan Zimmerman and Nick Johnson, respectively.

Entering Thursday's action, Casto is 2-for-10 without an RBI.

"He has played very good defense and has swung the bat OK," Nationals manager Manny Acta said. "That's one of the tough decisions we have to make at the end of camp."

There was a time when it was easy to keep Casto in the organization. He was Washington's Minor League Player of the Year in 2005 and '06. However, Casto hasn't been able to capitalize on his opportunities in the big leagues. In 82 career games, Casto is 42-for-217 (.194) with two home runs and 19 RBIs.

"I haven't proved myself the way I want to yet," Casto said. "I think I can prove myself. Whether I'm with the Nationals or not, it's not up to me. I'm going to do everything I can every day -- work hard, show up early and get the job done."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.