This winter's battle for Cliff Lee's services is widely viewed as a two-team race between the Yankees and Rangers, but those aren't the only clubs with a strong interest in the left-hander. MLB.com's Bill Ladson says the Nationals, who are hoping to land a front-line starting pitcher this offseason, will receive an audience with Lee.
Washington is a team Lee "has to learn more about," according to Ladson's source, so it's possible the Nationals could become a dark horse candidate to sign Lee after the 32-year-old hears what they have to say. Still, as Ladson notes, the Nats may be more inclined to trade for a starter rather than signing one of the top free agent arms. Here's what GM Mike Rizzo said in September when he discussed the team's desire for a top starter:
"We need a front-of-the-rotation guy to put everybody in their proper place in the rotation. That's the number one priority going into the offseason. We definitely have depth – prospect wise – to pull off a deal for a pitcher."