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01/18/10 6:47 PM EST

Nats potential suitors for Sheets

Club scouts prepared to see pitcher on Tuesday

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are sending scouts to Monroe, La., to watch free-agent pitcher Ben Sheets throw Tuesday, according to a baseball source. The session will take place at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was not available for comment.

The Nationals are still looking for starting pitching, and Sheets could help them as long he is healthy. Sheets hasn't played in the Major Leagues since 2008, when he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA for the Brewers. Sheets then became a free agent and missed the entire 2009 season because of right elbow problems.

During his eight-year career, Sheets is 86-83 with a 3.72 ERA in 221 career starts with Milwaukee. His best season was in 2004, when he struck out 264 batters in 237 innings.

According to published reports, Sheets is looking for an $8 million contract for 2010, but it's doubtful the Nationals will give him that kind money, because he's had problems staying healthy during his career.

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