With rumors swirling about the potential destination for Cliff Lee, it's worth noting that the Nationals did not meet with Lee's agent today. But there's a good reason for that: Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker, left the Winter Meetings earlier today.
That Braunecker left the Dolphin Hotel at Walt Disney World could be interpreted as a good thing for the Nationals, who would have more time to woo Lee away from the Yankees or Rangers, the teams believed to be the favorites for Cliff Lee. Rizzo said on Tuesday he considers the Nationals "a real longshot" for Lee, and said on Wednesday that nothing has changed on that front. But team and industry sources have said the Nationals intend to make a real push for Lee, though they are cautious about being used for leverage, as they feel they were in 2008 when Mark Teixeira signed with the Yankees.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters the team has made an offer for Lee, something the Nationals do not appear to have done. That said, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo isn't concerned that he won't have another chance to meet with Lee's agent at the Winter Meetings. (Via Mark Zuckerman).
"I don't really know where he's at in regards to getting a deal done soon. It wouldn't surprise me if it went beyond the meetings."
In other news, Rizzo did say the team has spoken to Brandon Webb's representatives, and he seems interested in potentially bringing Webb aboard.
He's a guy that doesn't rely on power to get his outs. He's the consummate sinkerball guy. He throws a heavy ball. And when he was at his best, he throws 88-90. At one time, when we drafted him, he was at 94. He adjusted. He throttled down to get that movement on his sinker."
Rizzo also said the team is still interested in keeping Chien-Ming Wang and said the Nationals' first baseman next year is "likely to come from outside the organization," which corresponds with the team's reported interest in Diamondbacks first baseman Adam LaRoche.