According to several outlets Tuesday night, the Washington Nationals are preparing a seven-year, $175 million offer to free agent pitcher Cliff Lee. Wait, what?
Just a few days after giving Jayson Werth a seven-year, $126 million deal, the Nationals are trying to throw another gigantic sum at another big-time free agent? Wow. I mean, I’m not saying Lee is going to end up with the Nats, but after the huge contracts Washington gave out to No. 1 draft picks Stephen Strasburg ($15.1 million) and Bryce Harper ($9.9 million) over the past two seasons and now this, they’re spending money like an Arab teenager.
Publicly the Nationals have backed off saying that is what they would give Lee, but numerous sources are confirming that’s what they’ve been preparing for the 32-year-old left-hander.
Reports circulating say that three other teams are also in on Lee. The New York Yankees are apparently going to offer him six years, but won’t stretch their deal to seven.
Nolan Ryan is said to be increasingly encouraged that the Texas Rangers will retain Lee, and manager Ron Washington agrees.
The Los Angeles Angels are also ready to throw a huge offer at Lee according to reports.
But could the Nationals be the team to come out of nowhere and reel in two of the biggest fish in the entire free agent pool? Honestly, I can’t possibly see them burdening themselves with that kind of contract, but maybe Washington’s ownership is just that crazy. Unless they’ve won a ton of cash via online sports betting, this just doesn’t add up.
It has been proven over and over again that you can’t just throw together a bunch of big name talent and win, you also have to build from within. The Nats have some guys who are a few years away from helping at the big league level and by the time they get there, guys like Lee and Werth could be on the downside of their careers. Heck, those two guys could be on the downside next season.
This just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense beyond the next season or so.