It's hard to know what kind of chance the Nationals have of signing Carl Pavano, one of the biggest names left on the free agent market. Reports have emerged that claim Washington and Minnesota are the two finalists for Pavano's services, but Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post isn't so sure. And if you listen to what Mike Rizzo has to say, it doesn't sound so promising.
Everybody knows the Nats have money to spend and, finally, want to spend it. When a player seeks leverage, his people hint that the Nats are the mystery team chasing him. As a result, the Nats "didn't get" Cliff Lee, even though they were just doing due diligence in inquiring about him. Soon, the Nats "won't get" Carl Pavano either. "I hear we are 'the finalist' along with the Twins," said Rizzo, acerbically. "We've never spoken to Pavano and we haven't talked to his agent since the winter meetings."
O. So all this hub-bub of the Nationals being the nix to sign Pavano, that was all just Pavano seeking leverage with the Twins? If you believe Boswell and Rizzo that is certainly what it sounds like. Bummer.
There is always the chance, however, that this is all a smoke screen on Rizzo's part and the team really is in negotiations, or at the very least contact, with the Pavano camp. We won't really know until the ink dries on his new contract if the Nationals have a legitimate chance at getting him.