The Nationals, while trying to land Cliff Lee, aren't wasting any time checking into other pitching options at the Winter Meetings. They met with Carl Pavano's agent, Tom O'Connell, on Tuesday and remain actively interested in the Twins right-hander.
"We met with Nationals officials today," O'Connell said. "It was a productive meeting, and Carl is methodically going through his options."
O'Connell would not comment on whether Pavano had received an offer from any team.
Pavano is widely considered the second-best starting pitcher left on the free agent market behind Lee, and whichever team doesn't wind up with the Rangers left-hander could wind up giving a multi-year deal to Pavano, who went 17-11 with a 3.75 ERA for the Twins this year. He has a handful of teams vying for his services, and O'Connell said Pavano's decision will be independent of Lee's.
"We're not going to let anyone else dictate what we do," he said. "Carl has a few different suitors, and we're going through the process of evaluating each opportunity."
He did call the Nationals' signing of Jayson Werth a "bold first move," and added the seven-year, $126 million contract for the outfielder paints the Nationals in a different light to other free agents.
"It shows the seriousness of the organization about winning," O'Connell said. "It shows they're not afraid to go out there and sign quality free agents. If you get a combination of talented young players and experienced free agents, you're on the right track."