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Braves designate Mondesi for assignment

WASHINGTON -- Outfielder Raul Mondesi was designated for
assignment Tuesday by the Atlanta Braves, a move that could signal
the end of his major league career.

The Braves cleared roster space to activate left-hander Mike Hampton from the disabled list so he could start Tuesday night's
game against the Washington Nationals.

Atlanta has 10 days to trade Mondesi, put him on waivers or send
him outright to the minors, if he consents. The team doesn't expect
Mondesi to agree to that.

"He loves to play the game. He might give it another shot with
somebody else," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "The players loved
him. He was great in the clubhouse. He just felt bad when I talked
to him that he didn't help us."

The 1994 NL Rookie of the Year was told he had lost his starting
job over the weekend, when the Braves called up outfielder Kelly
Johnson from the minors and put him in the lineup. Mondesi said
Saturday he's been limited by a sore right knee, which he
attributed to a torn right quadriceps muscle that limited him to 34
games last season.

This season, his first with Atlanta, Mondesi was hitting .211
(30-for-142) with four homers and 17 RBI.

"We were just trying to give him every opportunity to get him
some at-bats that he hadn't had in the last year or so," Cox said.

Mondesi entered this season, his 13th in the majors, with a .275
career average, 267 homers and 843 RBI. Mondesi played his first
seven seasons with the Los Angeles Dodgers, making the NL All-Star
team in 1995, and hitting at least 30 homers in three straight
seasons from 1997-99. The Braves were his seventh club.

Mondesi didn't travel with Atlanta to Washington. His agent did
not immediately return a phone call Tuesday.

Hampton went on the 15-day DL on May 21, retroactive to May 15,
with a strained left forearm.