You'd think that the Washington Nationals would not have enough room to hand out two mega-deals after giving Jayson Werth a $126 million contract on Sunday, but apparently, they're still a possibility for Cliff Lee, the top free-agent pitcher on the market. At least according to Lee's agent.
Darek Braunecker tells Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that the Nationals are still in the running for his client, even after the move for Werth.
"They're not eliminated by any means," Darek Braunecker said in the lobby of the Dolphin Hotel at baseball's winter meetings. "Not on our part, anyway."
Braunecker says the Nationals have not scheduled another meeting with him yet, but he would be open to meet if they did, saying they have been staying in touch. Interestingly, he said the move for Werth actually helps the Nationals' chances.
"He and Jayson Werth are like best buddies," Braunecker said. "For what it's worth."
Braunecker is just doing his job, so don't interpret this as a sign that the Nationals are serious contenders. Then again, crazier things have happened. If the signing of Werth is what it takes for the Nationals to get the top free agents, then it makes the move much more defensible, even despite his massive salary.