The media workroom at the Dolphin Hotel is emptying out, and so is my last tank of energy. So, unless the Nationals make some kind of news tonight, I'm heading back to my hotel room before the Rule 5 draft in the morning.
Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reported Cliff Lee could make a decision on his new team by the weekend, so if the Nationals have a shot to land the left-hander, we may find out soon. When I talked to GM Mike Rizzo on camera this afternoon, he said he was confident in the team's presentation to Lee's agent, Darek Braunecker. As the pitcher and his agent deliberate over the proposals, they'll likely have to decide if it's worth turning down the Yankees for more cash elsewhere. I'd assume the Nationals plan to outbid the Yankees; they have to know their best chance to steal Lee is with cash, plain and simple. But the common thought amongst baseball people is still that Lee winds up in New York.
We'll be back in the morning for the Rule 5 draft, which essentially wraps up the Winter Meetings. The Nationals have three open spots on their 40-man roster, and while Rizzo said it's getting harder to envision keeping a Rule 5 pick on the 25-man roster all season, I'd expect the Nationals to take a player. They can always try to work out a deal with the player's old team if they like him.
If there's any more news tonight, check back here for it. Otherwise, sleep well. I'm certainly going to.