(All I want for Cliffmas*. Image doctored from MLB.com/shop.)
So are the Nationals in this Cliff Lee Sweepstakes madness, or are they out?
At the moment: out. No wait: in. Out? Seems to change every minute or so depending on who you follow on Twitter. Early Tuedsay morning, prior to the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore effectively dousing the Cliff-Lee-to-the-Nats rumors with a bucket of cold water , it certainly sounded like the Nats might be at the front of the pack, helping drive up the price and willing to go seven years.
As of 5:30 PM Tuesday, MLB.com's Bill Ladson had a source tell him the Nats are still in the running.
About a half hour before that, Mike Rizzo further put a damper the possibility of Cliffmas* in Washington, telling the media this:
"I still think we're a real long shot to acquire the player."
(Mike Rizzo, via NatsInsider, 12/7/2010)
Then reports around 7 PM of two seven year deals on the table for Lee from a couple of mystery teams; and not the Rangers or Yankees. And certainly not the Nationals, right? Because I'm sure I just saw someone Tweet that a source told the Nats have given up, which was immediately followed up by someone saying the Nats offered Lee a 10 year deal and an ownership stake.
Head stopped spinning yet?
Anyway, we should probably just swap out that image above with a Pavano #48 to be safe (sorry, Ross Detwiler).
*props to Cheryl Nichols for coining the phrase, "Cliffmas" for NatsTown. Sadly, there's probably not much chance we'll be seeing Cliffmas in Washington.