The Nationals are still actively involved in trying to sign pitcher Cliff Lee, but general manager Mike Rizzo said he thinks the team's chances are slim of actually landing the left-hander.
"We've had dialog with the representative (Darek Braunecker)," Rizzo said. "I still think we're a real long shot to acquire the player."
Washington has had conversations with Twins right-hander Carl Pavano, considered the No. 2 pitcher on the market, Rizzo said, and the Nationals are pursuing other options beside Lee. But industry sources have said it's clear the Nationals are making a strong, if cautious, push for Lee, who won the 2009 AL Cy Young.
Team sources shot down reports of a seven-year offer from the Nationals, and Washington is wary of being used as leverage in the Lee derby, according to baseball sources. But it's clear the team isn't giving up on its chances to get him.