Cliff Lee Rumors: Nationals Reportedly Going After Pitcher Aggressively

Cliff Lee is one of the most coveted prizes of the 2010 off-season, and a somewhat surprising suitor has reportedly come forth. The Washington Nationals, says ESPN's Buster Olney, are prepared to present a "huge" offer to the left-handed starter.

There is a growing speculation among rival agents and executives that the Washington Nationals are going to throw a HUGE number at Cliff Lee

The Nationals have already made their presence known this off-season, having just wrapped up slugger Jayson Werth to a long-term deal. SB Nation DC is pleasantly surprised:

This would truly be shocking. It's unclear what a "HUGE" number would be, but after the Werth deal, you never know. Lee is reportedly likely to get a seven-year contract from some team, though most are only willing to offer six years. If the Nationals are that mystery team (as SI's Jon Heyman reports), then you'd have to think Lee would cost more than the $126 million Werth got from the Nationals. Otherwise, are we talking about a contract for longer than seven years? It's kind of staggering to think about this.

Yes, it is staggering. If a rotation packs a one-two punch of Lee, a lefty who turns 32 in August, and right-hander Stephen Strasburg, for as long as seven years, it might just be enough to transform a perennial cellar-dweller into a contender.

For more, check in with our Washington Nationals blog, Federal Baseball.

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