The Nationals are looking for a top-end veteran starter, and Lee would help sell some tickets and fill the enthusiasm void in Washington while Stephen Strasburg recovers from Tommy John surgery. If the Nationals fail to land Lee, they'll look for pitching elsewhere on the free agent market or try to swing a deal for a James Shields, Matt Garza or another starter who might be available in trade.
Add the Nationals to the list of teams in the Matt Garza Sweepstakes. The problem with them is they have limited trade chips that might interest the Rays; they already stated they don't want to trade their young infielders Danny Espinosa or Ian Desmond, and their only big prospect bat (outside of Harper, who is way out of out league) would be catcher Derek Norris.
Cliff Lee headlines [their] plans, but those fans hoping to see long-time nemesis Carl Crawford in pinstripes are unlikely to get their wish.
According to a source, the Yankees aren't planning to make a hard charge for Crawford or Jayson Werth, the top two offensive free agents available this winter.
When the Yankees are interested in a player, there's never any doubt about it: the Yankees are interested and tend to dominate the negotiations. It's possible that they're trying to feign apathy, hoping to keep Crawford's price down, but since when has that ever been the Yankee way of doing business? I think we can all take a guarded sign of relief...although I'm not going to relax entirely until I hear for sure that Crawford has signed elsewhere.
Oh, and also, Don Zimmer is staying on as senior advisor for another year. You gotta love the Zim.