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Nationals add former Orioles outfielder Matos

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Nationals signed free-agent
outfielder Luis Matos on Friday and designated outfielder Marlon
Byrd for assignment.

Matos hit .207 in 55 games for the Baltimore Orioles this season
before they designated him for assignment on July 6.

His career average is .256 with 30 homers, 140 RBI and 72
steals in 494 major league games spread over seven seasons with the
Orioles. Matos was a part-time starter last season, hitting .280
and finishing second on Baltimore with 17 steals.

He has made 373 big league starts in center field, a position
that's been a revolving door all season for the Nationals.

Byrd was batting .223 this season, with five homers, 18 RBI and
47 strikeouts in 197 at-bats; he had two hits in his last 20
at-bats. He was acquired from Philadelphia in 2005 in a trade that
sent outfielder Endy Chavez to the Phillies.

Washington has been searching for an everyday center fielder
throughout this season, with Brandon Watson, Byrd and Ryan seeing
time there.

The moves come a day after the Nationals made an eight-player
trade with the Cincinnati Reds. The key players Washington got were
outfielder Austin Kearns and shortstop Felipe Lopez, while
Cincinnati received relievers Gary Majewski and Bill Bray,
shortstop Royce Clayton and infielder Brendan Harris.