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UPDATE: The Nats are out of the Cliff Lee Derby

Dec 7, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

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UPDATE II: Never mind. Seems the Nats are out.

UPDATE: All kinds of mixed news on this Cliff Lee/Nats stuff. Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that, according to a Major League source, the Nationals are going to offer Lee a seven year deal and that the Yankees will not go seven.  Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, however, just followed that up by saying that, while negotiation might happen and the Nats could make a big offer, “a seven year offer won’t be made.”

Either way, I think it’s important to remember one thing here: even if the Nats did go seven years, there’s nothing to suggest so far that it would be bigger on a dollars-per-year basis as a six-year deal the Yankees could offer.  The upshot: this is all fun, but let’s not get too crazy until we hear numbers attached to this stuff.

10:02 A.M.: Buster Olney just tweeted that there is “growing speculation among rival agents and executives that Nats are going to throw a HUGE number at Cliff Lee.”

Like I said earlier this morning, I can’t really see Lee wanting to go to Washington.  But of course, I couldn’t see Werth wanting to go to Washington either. And I couldn’t see Washington going all Dr. Evil and offering billions of dollars to free agents for some damn reason either.

  1. Jonny 5 - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    This is pretty cool. I really hope Washington lands him. Making Phillies – Nats games 20 times more interesting.

  2. Kevin S. - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    Apparently, the Nats are in the business of giving seven-year deals to early-thirties players. If their offer is as long as the one for Werth, he’ll be a Nat. And while there might not be much of a team around them, the idea of Lee/Strasburg/Zimmermann headlining a rotation is sexy, dammit.

    • Old Gator - Dec 7, 2010 at 11:58 AM

      They will definitely lead the league in Zimmermans, anyway.

  3. uyf1950 - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:15 AM

    I say the Nationals should go for it. Unless they blow Lee and his agent away with “substantially” more money and years Lee’s not going to the Nationals. Seven years at $30M per might do it. That is unless Lee is interested in winning as well. The Nationals are at least 4 years away from even being competitive.

    • Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:20 AM

      I’m pretty sure 7 years at $25M per would do it, no need to go to $30M. If he’s getting a $175M deal, that should (I think) be enough to get him to sign. Even in Washington.

  4. Reflex - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:22 AM

    I don’t know about that. Say they give Lee the deal he wants, knowing it’ll be bad by the end. As pointed out above, Lee/Strasburg/Zimmermann is not a bad top of the rotation. Furthermore, Zimmerman/Werth/Harper is not a bad middle of the lineup assuming Harper pans out in the next couple years. Grab one more big bopper in the next couple seasons, say Prince Fielder next season, or someone like Crawford this season, and the team starts to look competitive by next season. Add a couple of upside vets or Aubrey Huff types and I can see them competing sooner rather than later.

    Obviously this is all speculation, and were I a Nats fan probably a fan fantasy. But they DO have the money to do this. The owner is a billionaire and the team plays in one of the better media markets. If they want to go Marlins in 1998 on the league they can afford to. And I don’t know that it would be a bad thing either, that division has been Phils/Braves/Mets for far too long IMO…

    • Reflex - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:27 AM

      BTW, I’d also add that their 2B prospect looks pretty good, and thier SS, Ian Desmond, is going to be a minor star in my opinion(the errors were directly a result of his very very good range). That would put them above average in the three positions that are most difficult to be above average in(C, 2B, SS) in addition to having a good CF and a star 3B. Like I said, sign someone like Fielder for 1B or Crawford for LF and that lineup starts to look very good.

  5. sdelmonte - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    So what will Lee want? Tons of money and job security, the chance to eat NL hitters alive, and the possibility of being on a rising club; or slightly less cash and security and a much greater certainty of seeing the playoffs? Because if I’m Cashman, my pitch is, “you’ll still be super-rich, you’ll still get five years, and you’ll be with the Yankees.”

  6. fndan9 - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:36 AM

    Ironic how a team based in Wash DC seems to be planning to spend WAY more money than they have.

  7. rick1922 - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:43 AM

    Any body gies this guy more then 5years is nuts.Bad back and 32 years old.THE YANKEES won;t go7 years nobody should this is getting out of hand.

  8. Mark Armour - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    The Nationals owners has a gazillion dollars and they play in one of the biggest markets in the country. If he wants to have a $140 million payroll it would be easy to pull off.

  9. Old Gator - Dec 7, 2010 at 11:43 AM

    I would rather see Washington offer Julian Assange a seven year deal as part of a plea bargain.

  10. yankees1996 - Dec 7, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    It would appear if they actually offer this deal that the Nationals are subscibing to the ploy of “Go big or Go home” when it comes to their free agent pursuits. I say good for them, spend on boys!

  11. gt929 - Dec 7, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    I heard the Rangers might be interested in Cliff Lee too. But, nah, they are broke and won’t reach the playoffs for another 50 years.

  12. Ari Collins - Dec 7, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    Now we hear they’re back in it, via mlb.com’s Bill Ladson. Though who knows if they’re doing seven years.

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