(When Ted Lerner laughs, the world laughs with him. Well, not Scott Boras. That's an AP Photo.)
Remember last Friday night when we suggested that Ted Lerner was probably, at that very moment, wearing a tux, sipping a scotch, and smiling, all the while nodding knowingly in the wake of news of a sham of a top-secret meeting between the Rangers and Prince Fielder/Boras at the same hotel where Joel Hanrahan was getting married? (Coincidence? Nice one, Scott!)
And so, Yu Darvish and the Rangers agreed on a 6 year, $60 million deal (add in the $51 million posting fee, and it's a paltry $111 Million commitment). And Ted Lerner didn't blink; no, he's probably laughing right now. Even billionaires laugh sometimes, folks! Now that Scott Boras's Last Stand has gone up in smoke (that is: wait out the Yu Darvish negotiations and hope Lerner budges on his last, best offer), the Nationals are ready to tell the world (read: Boras) that they're working on a contract extension for Ryan Zimmerman (as reported by MLB.com's Bill Ladson). This report was promptly shot down in a Tweet by the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore shortly thereafter.
In other words: we're "guessing" (surprise! air quotes!) Ted Lerner will now tell Boras he waited too long and made a bad business gesture by running to Nolan Ryan (this guess brought to you by a person who knows stuff and is usually right). That last best offer -- maybe not exactly on the table anymore? This is not to say that the Nats are no longer interested in Prince Fielder - oh, they are - but we're guessing (no air quotes) Scott Boras now needs to come back to the table with hat in hand and make good with Mr. Lerner. Payback's a bitch, Scott.
Nats are being pumped back up as the front runners for Fielder, as they should be - we're hearing Nats, Rangers, Blue Jays, Marlins all still in play. Of course, for good measure isn't it CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman who still insists on including Seattle and the Orioles in the mix? We're still picking the Nats...albeit in a deal that's a little more palatable for Mr. Lerner. Unless Boras and the Marlins...