The dream might be over. The speculation that the Nationals might still be a contender to sign Cliff Lee, the biggest prize in free agency this season, may have officially ended.
According to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post, the Yankees have made a seven year offer to Lee that the Nationals will not even attempt to match.
It's unknown if the Nationals even made an offer after twice meeting with Lee's agent twice at the winter meetings. But, unless the Nationals' mindset on Lee has drastically changed in the past two days, then the Yankees' seven-year offer knocks them. One Nationals source said they would offer Lee, 32, seven years "if hell freezes over."
Kilgore tracks the Lee saga all the way back to the Nationals signing Jayson Werth to a huge contract. He was the guy the Red Sox really wanted, so when they lost out on him, they had to sign Carl Crawford; and of course the Yankees had to respond. Apparently when Crawford agreed to join the Red Sox, it really put pressure on the Yankees to secure Lee, so they bumped their offer up to seven years. Which is something the Nats simply won't do.