(That's something we'll never get to see Cliff Lee do with the Nationals. Because Cliff Lee will never be a National. Photo by REUTERS/Scott Audette)
The answer to the question "Could the Nationals land Cliff Lee?" can be summed up in two simple words:
No drama here. Don't waste your time dreaming, NatsTown.
The Phillies-Yankees World Series of 2010 hasn't even started, and yet it's already time to hunker down and prepare for a long Winter of being teased by stories of the Nationals being serious players in the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reported on Friday that the Nationals are making it known that they're ready to spend boatloads of Lerner cash this offseason, and so could presumably be a player in the Cliff Lee Sweepstakes:
One club to keep an eye on is Washington. The Nationals are telling agents they are willing to overspend, if necessary, to bolster their rotation
(via Denver Post, 10/15/2010)
And MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling added to the hubbub on Friday, reporting that he's hearing the Nationals will be in the mix for Lee's services, and actually...have a shot at pulling it off?
But could the Nationals actually make a run at him? Industry sources believe they have a chance. Several baseball officials believe the 32-year-old left-hander is the team's big target this winter, and expect they could make the kind of blockbuster offer to Lee to get the job done. The buzz around baseball is that Lee will "follow the money" this winter and pitch for the highest bidder.
(via MASNSports.com, 10/15/2010)
There's just no way.
No doubt the Nationals will make a run at Cliff Lee. But there's a better chance of Bryce Harper taking the mound on Opening Day 2011 at Nationals Park against the Braves than Cliff Lee. Essentially, the Nats will be allowed to sit at the big kids table this winter, help drive up the price, and eventually the Yankees will swoop in near the end and trump Ted Lerner's money, just like the Teixeira Sweepstakes a couple of years ago.
No cliffhanger here, NatsTown. You know how this story ends.