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Nats want Lee, but not for 7 years

Dec 7, 2010, 5:31 PM EDT

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — The Nationals are seriously interested in signing Cliff Lee. Just not serious enough to give the prized free agent pitcher a seven-year contract.

While the Nationals will likely make a formal contract offer to Lee in the coming days, club sources said they will not include a seventh year in that offer, despite speculation around Disney’s Swan and Dolphin Resort this morning to the contrary.

The Nationals’ interest in Lee has never waned. He’s been atop their wish list of potential pitching acquisitions this winter. But general manager Mike Rizzo has felt along his team faced long odds to land the 32-year-old lefty, who is also being heavily courted by the Yankees as well as the Rangers club he helped lead to the World Series in October.

Read my full story on CSNwashington.com.

  1. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Dec 7, 2010 at 5:40 PM

    C'mon, Uncle Teddy, roll the dice on a seventh biggie for Cliffie Boy. You wouldn't want folks around here reviving that old "Lerners are Cheep" chant now, would you?

  2. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 5:44 PM

    To me, Lee is the kind of pitcher who should do fine into his mid to late 30's. He's not a flame thrower, he's crafty and accurate. Curt Schilling pitched phenominally well at 38 and 39 along with many others. I gotta think there's just some postering going on.

  3. Section 223 - Dec 7, 2010 at 5:50 PM

    I guess the grownups are back in the room. Dang it.

  4. N. Cognito - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    Anonymous said… "To me, Lee is the kind of pitcher who should do fine into his mid to late 30's. He's not a flame thrower, he's crafty and accurate. Curt Schilling pitched phenominally well at 38 and 39 along with many others."Actually, hard throwers last longer than soft-tossers. Soft-tossers rely on junk, which puts a greater strain on their arm.

  5. Doc - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    We need to bring Cliffie back home, along with Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore.

  6. JD - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:12 PM

    Signing Werth for 7 years is really risky but I understand the need for the Nats to become relevant; to sign a pitcher; any pitcher particularly a 32 year old to anything close to 7 years is really irresponsible. If you commit $175 mil to Lee and if he blows out his arm in year 1 or year 2 you are really committing the team to long term mediocrity because even if the Lerners are NOT cheap and they are not they won't keep spending like this indefinitely; no team not named the Yankees can. I read where Wendy Rodriguez may be available; interesting thought.

  7. Section 223 - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:15 PM

    Does Wendy pitch like a girl?Sorry, just kidding.

  8. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    It's WANDY people W A N D Y!

  9. Doc - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:28 PM

    For Wendy, apparently the sex change operation didn't alter his/her pitching style. He/she is still all man out on the mound.

  10. Section 223 - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:31 PM

    Sorry, y'all. I view growing old as being a law. Growing up is an option and I like to keep my options open. My lunch is over, back to work.Please do keep rumors going, though.

  11. JD - Dec 7, 2010 at 6:35 PM

    Wandy is 31 years old averages about 8 k's per 9 innings and 3 BB's; ERA consistently around 3.5 which is exceptional for Houston. He is one year away from arbitration so he will become expensive but under team control for 3 more years. I don't think he can be had cheaply but I would test the waters.

  12. N. Cognito - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:06 PM

    "NatsJack in Florida said… "It's WANDY people W A N D Y!"Can you say Wandy? I like the way you say that.(For you youngsters, that's a reference to a classic National Lampoon skit)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6jPN8kjrD0&feature=related

  13. raymitten - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    Much as I like the Lee idea, I think seven years to him is much, much riskier than 7 years to Werth. While he's had much recent success, he also had a back problem and was sent to the minor leagues as soon as three years ago. If seven years is what it takes, in this case I would probably let him go. Somebody apparently offered him seven years according to Heyman and it wasn't us, the Yanks or Texas. Who?

  14. N. Cognito - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:11 PM

    raymitten said… "Somebody apparently offered him seven years according to Heyman and it wasn't us, the Yanks or Texas. Who?"His agent.

  15. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    Kansas City wants a right-handed hitting outfielder. Oh really? Well we want a certain right-handed former Cy Young award winner. I hope Willingham likes the Midwest life style.http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2010/12/royals-seeking-right-handed-hitting-outfielder.html

  16. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    The emperor has no clothes, three outlets reporting Nats not a player in Lee discussions…someone is lying!

  17. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    the Oreosraymitten said…"Somebody apparently offered him seven years according to Heyman and it wasn't us, the Yanks or Texas. Who?"

  18. Doc - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    Never deny the part that agents play in creating and inciting rumors. Their shenanigans/media manipulation probably increase the players' worth by at least 10%–unbeknownst to the poor little 'ol GMs!Their are ways of countering such demon driven ways with the equally demon driven spreading of false health status issues, etc. Hmmmmm, sounds like a good consulting job for an ex-agent.

  19. Mark - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:38 PM

    Carl Pavano is the perfect fit which allows the Nats to trade John Lannan to LA, Milwaukee, or the Reds.

  20. JD - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:44 PM

    Mark, Sorry; I don't see Pavano as a great improvement over what we have; not a top of the rotation guy in my book. I would give him a Marquis like contract (2 for 15) no more.

  21. Livo - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:48 PM

    "Actually, hard throwers last longer than soft-tossers. Soft-tossers rely on junk, which puts a greater strain on their arm."Hey, I'll argue that one…

  22. JD - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    My mistake on Wandy; 1 year before free agency not arbitration which makes him somewhat less attractive but perhaps a lot cheaper.

  23. Bobo - Dec 7, 2010 at 7:57 PM

    This is the most excited Nats board I've seen. Usually you rich morons are whining about the Phils fans that show up and piss all over your second rate stadium to booo your third rate team. Do you really think you have a chance to sign a great player like Cliff Lee? C'mon. Maybe a guy like Werth, a second fiddle player, will come to loserville, but not a someone like Cliff Lee. Get over your selves. You bozos are luckly you live in an area with rich uncles to spend, otherwise you'd be more like the royals. Anyway, have fun on coming in fifth place in the NL east next year…

  24. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:00 PM

    "Actually, hard throwers last longer than soft-tossers. Soft-tossers rely on junk, which puts a greater strain on their arm."Yeah. Just ask Jamie Moyer. He's having to undergo Tommy John surgery at the young age of 48. That soft-tossing just killed him!

  25. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:05 PM

    Love Philly fan smack. It's cute that they think one World Series will make us forget that Philadelphia teams and fans are perennial losers. They so desperately want to be a NY or Boston. But they're…Philadelphia.

  26. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:06 PM

    @ BoboLoserville, Pennsylvania, maybe. Enjoy your 10,000+ losses, douche. Philadelphia has exactly ONE more World Series championship than Washington and has been in the majors how many decades longer? (Bonus: "Phillies" = most effeminate nickname in sports history)

  27. Bowdenball - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:11 PM

    We were doing SUCH a good job of ignoring this troll's last few attempts. Can't we let this one go, too?

  28. Pete - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:12 PM

    @BoboPut down the mad dog 20/20 and get back to pumping gas.

  29. Noirelune - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    NCognito wrote :"Actually, hard throwers last longer than soft-tossers. Soft-tossers rely on junk, which puts a greater strain on their arm."Hummmm. Let me see.Hoyt Wilhelm retired at 49 – KnuckerballerPhile Niekro retired at 48 – KnuckerballerJamie Moyer active at 47 – JunkerballerCharlie Hough retired at 46 – KnuckerballerGaylord Perry retired at 45 – JunkerballerThese names seem to go against your theory.At your defenseSatchel Paige retired at 59 – HardthrowerNolan Ryan retired at 46 – FlamethrowerRandy Johnson retired at 46 – FlamethrowerRoger Clemens retired at 45 – SterothrowerNo offense, keep smiling.

  30. Bobo - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:27 PM

    Bonus: " Nats finishes above 4th place " = NeverBut they did sign J.Werth to a 7 year $126mm contract to be their second best player…YAY Nats. That will show the rest of the league. Too bad he can't pitch. @Pete: What is wrong with pumping gas? You born with a silver spoon up your ass and don't have to work for a living? You're a rich douche bag huh?

  31. natsfan1a - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:32 PM

  32. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:37 PM

    Speaking of Philly Phans you have to wonder if maybe the Phils were the ones who did the Keith Law panic act and went all in to get Lee back. At seven years 20-25 mil? Maybe the lowly folly known as the Nats put the fear of God (or the Lerner's deep pockets) into their GM?

  33. NatsJack in Florida - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:42 PM

    Made it to the lobby of The Dolphin Hotel and who's the first guy I see? FRIGGIN STAN KlASTEN!

  34. NatinBeantown - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:45 PM

    There's a difference between soft-tossers like Livo, Greg Maddux, Mariano Rivera and Lee, whose whole repertoire is based on location and change of speeds. John Lannan's not in that stratosphere, but he's the same type of pitcher. Those guys age well. There are other guys who rely on wicked breaking movement (Shawn Hill) whos arms do not hold up over time. I think Lee will age well, but I'm not sure any pitcher is a good gamble for 6 or 7 year deal, no matter the age. I'd rather use all three of our 1st rd/sandwich picks on pitchers next year and keep the pipeline flowing. In the meantime, trade or sign for someone in the 3 year range.

  35. David - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:47 PM

    nothing wrong with pumping gas. but most people in D.C. work their butts off for their living using their education. :-) as for werth goes, he was your 2nd best player too, so what's the difference? i've read that boston was willing to go 6 yrs/108(which matches our 18/year figure) so if the sox think he's worth it, there's nothing wrong with the nats thinking he's worth it. you know what's really loserville? coming on to other teams boards and picking worthless and idiotic internet fights, that's what. good riddance to you.

  36. NatinBeantown - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    @NatsJack: that's hilarious. Did he take your coat and bags up to your room?

  37. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Pay attention to to Bowdenball's last post.

  38. Bobo - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    @David — good one, really, Werth was better than Utley and Halladay last year? I don't think so. I'm not sure he was better than Hamels either, and Oswalt was only there a half year, but Werth certainly wasn't better than his full year either. Keep telling yourselves that it was a good use of resources and more or less makes up for letting Dunn walk for less money and less years…Keep telling yourselves that it wasn't that much money.

  39. NatsJack oin Florida - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    No. But he sure looked lonely without little boy Lerner by his side.

  40. David - Dec 7, 2010 at 9:28 PM

    You really think Dom Brown is ready to fill his shoes? I wasn't including pitchers in my statement. Werth was your 2nd best hitter behind Utley. And now he'll be our 2nd best behind Zimmerman. Werth is a 5 tool player just hitting his prime. Dunn was a defensive liability and a strike out king. We let him walk in a baseball decision to the AL where he's better suited as a DH. i never said it wasn't a lot of money. it sure as hell is, but we have one of the richest owners in MLB. if they want to start spending and bringing in free agents that the baseball world thought we had no chance to sign, i'm all for it.

  41. Anonymous - Dec 7, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    @Natinbeantown: Mariano Rivera is a soft tosser? I've never seen him throw a pitch under 90mph in the last 15 years! On your list, one of these things is not like the others … John C.

  42. Sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 12:48 AM

    I'm just enjoying the smackdown my Giants laid on his team. Actually, they deserve a much better fandom, considering, but them's the breaks. I guess the Phillies will have to make do with being rich, and knowing they'll never have to work for a living, and their kids (and probably their grandkids) will never have to work for a living or live in Philly or south Jersey.

  43. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:32 PM

    Speaking of whic, a fave NLCS moment:http://www.sacbee.com/2010/10/23/3126982/giants-and-phillies-nlcs-game.html

  44. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM

    Er, uh, right arrow to photo #2.

  45. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:35 PM

    And make that "which." Okay, I'm done now. :-)

  46. natsfan1a - Dec 8, 2010 at 1:39 PM

    That said, photo #6 is also quite nice.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 88 64 --
ATLANTA 76 76 12.0
MIAMI 74 78 14.0
NEW YORK 73 80 15.5
PHILADELPHIA 70 82 18.0
Through Thursday's early games
x-Clinched division title

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