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Clippard dealt to Nats for Albaladejo

Clippard dealt to Nats for Albaladejo

NASHVILLE -- The Yankees opened the Winter Meetings by dealing a prospect to upgrade their 2008 staff, but it wasn't the blockbuster many had anticipated could happen.

Instead, the Yankees agreed to acquire right-handed reliever Jonathan Albaladejo from the Washington Nationals late on Monday, parting with right-handed starter Tyler Clippard.

The deal has not been officially announced by either club pending both players passing physicals, but was confirmed by a Major League source with knowledge of the negotiations.

Albaladejo, 25, appeared in 14 games last season with Washington, going 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA. In 14 1/3 innings, Albaladejo struck out 12 and walked two, while also pitching at Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Columbus.

Once a prospect in the Pirates system before breaking out with the Nationals, the hard-throwing Albaladejo would project to be at least one piece of the Yankees' middle relief mix, which is taking shape as the club attempts to retain free agent Luis Vizcaino and has decided to ward off callers for setup man Kyle Farnsworth.

Clippard, 21, made six starts for the Yankees this season, including his Major League debut -- a victory -- on May 20 at Shea Stadium against the Mets. Clippard went 3-1 with a 6.33 ERA in his starts for New York before being optioned back to the Minor Leagues following another Subway Series start on June 16.

A ninth-round selection of the Yankees in the 2003 Draft, Clippard also spent time at Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this year. He projects to have a chance to make Washington's starting rotation in 2008.

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

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