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Villone signs with Nats

As if to attempt to prove the commonly held belief that you can get a major league pitching job if you are lefthanded and have a pulse, the Nationals have signed former Cardinals reliever Ron Villone.

Villone, who turned 40 a month ago, played for the Nationals last season after failing to catch on with the Mets in spring training. he was 5-6 with a 4.25 ERA. But he walked 29 people in 48 2/3 innings, a disturbing total for a lefty specialist.

He was a part of the famously bad 2008 Cardinals bullpen notching a 1-2 record with a 4.68 ERA in 50 innings pitched. He walked 37 and gave up 45 hits for a 1.64 average of walks and hits per inning pitched.

The Nationals have made it their plan to sign every rehab case or reject they can get their hands on this off-season. Within the last week the inked former Yankees starter Chien-Ming Wang and former Astros, Rockies, Reds and oh-so-briefly Athletics outfielder Willy Taveras.