Good afternoon. Just a couple things I picked up in the lobby at the Winter Meetings before heading to lunch.
--I’m starting to think more and more that the Nationals are going to try and trade Josh Willingham, though it might not happen this week. They’re definitely listening to offers for him, and they’d want pitching in return. Willingham is a free agent after this year, and the addition of Jayson Werth gives the Nationals some more flexibility in their outfield. If the Nationals can find a taker for Willingham and get a prospect or two out of it, the deal seems to make sense. Pete Kerzel discussed that in greater detail here.
--There’s one hitch in the Nationals’ attempt to get pitching: almost anyone they talk to wants Danny Espinosa or Ian Desmond. The Marlins, who all of a sudden have a pitching surplus, could be a possible match, but they’d want Espinosa to replace Dan Uggla and make it so they weren’t completely reliant on Omar Infante. If the Nationals try to make a move for a pitcher, they’ll have to decide whether they can afford to part with either of their young middle infielders.
--Derek Braunecker, Cliff Lee’s agent, held court in the lobby a few minutes ago, and said he’s met in person with more teams than just the Rangers and Yankees, though those are the two teams that have confirmed the meeting. Mike Rizzo said yesterday the Nationals are likely out on Cliff Lee after signing Jayson Werth, and I can’t see them tossing another mega-sized deal at Lee when they’ve got other needs to fill, but I guess you never know.
Running to grab a quick lunch before a busy afternoon. Both Jim Riggleman and Mike Rizzo are scheduled to meet with the media today, and I’ll have more from them, as well as any other developments.