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Report: Nationals A Sleeper Team To Sign Cliff Lee

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Cliff Lee is the best player available in free agency this year. He's an unquestioned front of the rotation starter and among the best pitchers in baseball. The Nationals are looking for a guy who can fill that void in their rotation. Maybe you see where I'm going with this ...

For a while now we've heard that the Nationals will try to pry Cliff Lee away from the Rangers and Yankees of the world and there haven't been any reports to dispute that fact. Now ESPN's Jerry Crasnick adds fuel to the fire, saying that the Nationals, "want to make a splash.

The Nationals are looking for a top-end veteran starter, and Lee would help sell some tickets and fill the enthusiasm void in Washington while Stephen Strasburg recovers from Tommy John surgery.

This is all eerily reminiscent of when the Nationals tried their darnedest to sign Mark Texiera two years ago. Nobody could accuse them of not making a very serious effort to sign him, but in the end their efforts fell short. But on the bright side, their consolation prize that year was Adam Dunn, so maybe we're headed for something like that.I don't expect them to get Cliff Lee, but I do expect them to make a serious run at him.

Crasnick also reports that there are other pitching options available to the Nationals through trade, but that they would likely have to part with Danny Espinosa or Ian Desmond to get it done; which is something they might be hesitant to do.