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No Lee deal likely soon

Dec 8, 2010, 8:57 PM EST

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — If you were hoping for an imminent resolution to the Cliff Lee saga, you’re not going to get it.

Darek Braunecker, the free agent left-hander’s agent, left the Winter Meetings this afternoon with no deal in place for his client. The odds of a contract coming together before this event wraps up tomorrow seem remote at best.

Braunecker met with several clubs in person, including the Nationals twice, this week at the Disney Swan and Dolphin Resort. The Yankees, Rangers, Angels and perhaps another team or two spoke with Braunecker, who is seeking a mammoth contract for the 32-year-old hurler.

Despite several reports of at least one club offering Braunecker a seven-year deal — and speculation the Nationals could be that club — Nats executives have adamantly denied it. GM Mike Rizzo is seriously interested in Lee and will make (if he hasn’t already) a competitive offer, but it won’t be for seven years.

  1. BQ - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Why not 7 years? Some pitchers do last until late 30's. What are the chances of him lasting that long given his injury history?

  2. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    You sure he wasn't headed over to the Yankees complex in Tampa to do the deal there?

  3. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:16 PM

    Well, Tampa would be a REALLY weird place for Lee to sign his deal with the Nats.

  4. NatinBeantown - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:25 PM

    To all fellow Nats Insider readers:I assume (hope?) that CSN is picking up the tab for most of Mark's expenses in covering the Winter Meetings. And they should–he's provided a lot of good content for the CSN site this week. But I think those of us who have scoured the internets looking for information have noticed that Mr. Zuckerman has crushed it on Winter Meeting reporting.I think most of us who paid for subscriptions expected coverage through the 2010 season, and hardly considered that there would be much of interest in the offseason (again). I'm both pleasantly surprised by the team's activity and by the coverage on this site.Anyone who agrees should click on the subscription/support link in the top right of the Insider page to supplement their season subscription, even with a small amount. I just did. (If you don't feel like contributing, there's no reason to comment on it–it's not like Mark requested this).If nothing else, we'll send just enough for he and Goessling to have a few drinks in honor of Sun Myung Moon, Leatherpants and the Good ol' Days on their last night in Orlando tonight.

  5. JD - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:35 PM

    The reason you don't do 7 years is this: what if both Werth and Lee's performance drops to a point where they are basically useless in years 6 and 7?now you have 40 mil tied up in 2 non performing players. It's semi understandable the Nats had to do it with Werth to establish credibility to their fan base and to signal to their players and other free agents that they want to contend and will spend to do it but to sign a 32 year old pitcher for anything more than 4 years let alone 7 is really irresponsible.

  6. Anonymous - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Beantown, nice sentiment, which I echo.Now, can we talk about your closing technique?

  7. sec3 - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    And click the ad links, and if you have a site, link to this one.

  8. Dave - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:44 PM

    @NatinBeantown, I just clicked and sent Mark a few bucks. Others should do the same. Nats Insider has been the very first site I have checked for news this week.

  9. NatinBeantown - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    Anon @4:38:Yeah, I close like Joel Hanrahan (zing!) But I assure you the appeal was genuine.

  10. raymitten - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:53 PM

    Really torn on giving Lee 7 years — I don't think he's gonna last that long but its the only way to get it done, and they are building a reputation and a brand name here, which might be worth the extra $20 mil. Mark have you heard anything about the Nats on Grienke? Reading conflicting things — one says they are 'aggressive' on him, and Ladson says they are out entirely. I'd prefer Grienke to Lee I think, depending on the price. And, can you reveal who that mystery player was supposed to be that turned out to be a false rumor?

  11. JD - Dec 8, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    raymitten,It was Beltre.

  12. JaneB - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:03 PM

    Beantown, thanks for the call to action. Just joined you!

  13. Janner33 - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    Beantown, bravo; I echo your sentiments and just joined you too

  14. Another_Sam - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:24 PM

    Beantown — a couple of weeks ago I emailed Mark specifically about your point – that I was ready to come across for this intellectual property and that I felt I was in for only the regular season. He told me something to the effect of wait a bit until he decided what to do. I may ignore that and join you. Thanks. And I agree — this is bonus coverage and it's priceless. Both Mark's coverage and the community he fosters.

  15. Sec3MySofa - Dec 8, 2010 at 11:31 PM

    Indeed, Other Sam, much of the value added is in the community of commentary maintained here.

  16. SBrent - Dec 9, 2010 at 4:49 AM

    Even if Mark weren't going to write another word after today I don't mind throwing a few extra bucks into the hat for what he's produced already, which hasn't been available anywhere else. While I would like to think with the ad revenue he's making a decent living off the blog, my hunch is he's still well behind the income he made at the Times. But then I don't really understand how Mark ZuckerBERG is a gazillionaire from launching Facebook, either. So maybe our Mark ZuckerMAN is a NatsInsider tycoon by now! Anyway, I'm getting my money's worth and it's time for another dollop.

  17. Anonymous - Dec 15, 2010 at 8:18 PM






As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2015 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
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*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at Click here for past audio clips.

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