The Washington Nationals are in or out of the Cliff Lee sweepstakes depending on what you read. They're in and out of the Carl Pavano chase. They are still considering trade possibilities for Kansas City's Zack Grienke and Tampa's Matt Garza, or don't have what it will take to make a deal. Adam LaRoche is heading for D.C., according to what AOL/Fanhouse's Ed Price (@ed_price) heard, as he wrote this morning on Twitter that it, "Sounds like Adam LaRoche headed to #Nationals," but Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore (@adamkilgoreWP) followed up on that rumor and reported via Twitter shortly after Mr. Price's note that though LaRoche's name has definitely been discussed as an option before, Mr. Kilgore was, "...told Adam LaRoche to #Nats is not imminent, not at all a lock to happen."
After making the big splash of the Winter Meetings on Sunday before the meetings officially began, signing free agent outfielder Jayson Werth to a 7-year/$126M dollar deal, the Washington Nationals were the talk of the baseball world on Tuesday when their name got caught up in the Cliff Lee talks, but after the rumors died down, D.C. GM Mike Rizzo told the Nats beat reporters including MASNSports.com's Ben Goessling as quoted in an article entitled, "Rizzo: Nats "a real long shot" to land Cliff Lee", that though Washington, "'...had dialog with the representative (Darek Braunecker),' Rizzo said. 'I still think we're a real long shot to acquire the player.'"
MLB.com's Bill Ladson wrote yesterday in an article entitled, "Nationals exploring front-line starter options", that a "baseball source" told him, "The Royals felt the Nationals were not a match in terms of the players they wanted."
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal writes this afternoon in an article entitled, "Royals in no hurry to trade Greinke", that Kansas City is, "asking for pitching to replace Greinke and help at one or more of the four up-the-middle positions — center field, shortstop, second base and catcher," which brings us back to the oft-mentioned Jordan Zimmermann/Ian Desmond-type package we've been told all along that other teams have asked for from the Nats. Mr. Rosenthal simply says that the Nationals are one of four teams, "that have shown at least a measure of interest," in Greinke, but according to his sources, " the Royals do not plan to lower their price for Greinke," so the Nats will have to give up a lot to bring the former Cy Young winner to D.C.
Similarly, Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore, in a Nationals Journal post entitled, "Agent: Nationals still pursuing Carl Pavano", that the, "...top priority should they make a trade, even over the Royals' Zack Greinke, is Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays," but any deal with the Rays, "would almost certainly include shortstop Ian Desmond," who the Nats might not be willing to part with.
One more note: According to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) Cliff Lee's agent just left the Winter Meetings, so it's almost certain his client won't be dealt today...But are the Nats the team with the 7-year deal out there?