Once Cliff Lee found a new home, agreeing to a five-year, $120 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies last night, the market for the remaining free agent pitchers got a little clearer. And if this week is a good time to be Lee, the next one could be a good time to be Carl Pavano.
With Lee off the market, the Twins right-hander is now the best pitcher free agent pitcher left. He's attracted interest from a handful of clubs, including the Nationals, Twins and Brewers, and figures to get more now that the Rangers lost Lee. And the soon-to-be 35-year-old can take his time leafing through options and letting the market escalate.
"Once the top guy falls, the rest of the market starts to pick up," said Pavano's agent, Tom O'Connell. "We're not going to put a timetable on it. We've been in a good position all winter, we continue to be in a good position, and we're going to focus on our opportunities."
O'Connell said the Nationals are still in the mix for Pavano, though he stuck to his policy of not commenting on whether they - or any other team - had made the pitcher an offer. He saw general manager Mike Rizzo as the two were leaving the Winter Meetings last Thursday, and made plans to talk this week.
"Every team is still in," he said. "We knew that Cliff would probably sign at some point this week, and we'll let the market go from there."