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Posted at 3:34 PM ET, 12/ 7/2010

Winter meetings afternoon update

By Adam Kilgore

After the flurry of Cliff Lee rumors linked to the Nationals this morning -- which proved largely untrue -- it's been a quiet day so far for the Nationals. General Mike Rizzo will meet with the media at about 4 p.m., and until then, a couple quick updates:

*While the Nationals aren't about to offer a seven-year deal to Lee, they haven't ruled themselves out with Lee's camp. Agent Darek Braunecker said he and the Nationals are "maintaining dialogue" in regard to Lee. "If they've bowed out, they haven't told us." Braunecker declined to comment on any specific offers.

*Left fielder Josh Willingham remains available, but the Nationals do not appear desperate to trade him. "We're not trying to move him," one team source said. "We're listening." The source said four or five teams have contracted the Nationals about Willingham, but none of the talks have progressed beyond the teams indicating interest to the point of exchanging names.

*If the Nationals keep Willingham, they could try to use a platoon of Michael Morse and a left-handed free agent first baseman that will cost less than Carlos Pena or Adam LaRoche. It's still more likely they add Pena or LaRoche. But if the Nationals go with the secondary scenario, they could have interest in Brad Hawpe.

Hawpe, 31, would be a low-risk high reward addition. In his career, he has hit .279 with a .373 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. Last season, though, he hit .245/.338/.419.

*One scout who watched him pitch in the Arizona Fall League predicted reliever Cole Kimball would reach Washington at some point this season. Kimball, who reached Class AA Harrisburg last year, touched 98 miles per hour with his fastball in Arizona.

By Adam Kilgore  | December 7, 2010; 3:34 PM ET
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Next: Mike Rizzo on Cliff Lee, Carl Pavano, first base and more


I am confused by the Nats fiscal gymnastics... they have the money to be in on Cliff Lee... but cannot afford to keep Willingham AND add Carlos Pena/Adam Laroche?

Posted by: comish4lif | December 7, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Cole Kimball Rocking the 'Hawk before the Veterans' Day AFL game in Scottsdale:

As intense as the picture shows, he actually came across as a good fellow up close.

Posted by: MJPinDC | December 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The we are just listening to offers is the inexplicable tact they took with Dunn at the break, why do they insist on being passive in the trade market? Is there no one out there that they want.

Hawpe away from Coors? Not so hot.

Posted by: dfh21 | December 7, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Is it illegal/collusion for Rizzo and the Cubs GM to sit down at the bar and agree on Pena and Laroche, rather than bidding the asking price against each other for each? (Serious quesiton. Is this sort of thing allowed?)

Posted by: natinbeantown | December 7, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Second meeting with Lee's agent for Rizzo. Guess you missed that?

Posted by: periculum | December 7, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Gee Whiz, how can anyone think they have the whole story about what is going on by following blog and twitter posts.

Every GM on every team is aware of the coverage and the disinformation out weighs the information 100:1.

So with that in mind, it is not worth the angst when you hear the team is "listening" as opposed to "aggressively pursuing". If you ever bought or sold a car, you know that looking disinterested is part of the dance.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 7, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

What about the reports that the Nats are inquiring about Greinke?

Posted by: 202character | December 7, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Rizzo's tacking into the wind for a reason. Until there's ink on a contract, there's nothing to say. He'd be a fool to do his job in the papers...sorta like telling your loyal fan favorite he's fired, on a radio show.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 7, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Ok - here's what you do with 1st Base. Roll the dice on our old buddy Nick Johnson - a bargain basement contract loaded with incentives for games played. If/when he tears his achilles tendon, you have Morse as a fallback. Heck, just platoon them. When healthy (stop laughing, folks), Nick could still be a decent option. And spend the money saved on PITCHING.

Posted by: DoctorJoe | December 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

@beantown: IANAL, but, yes.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | December 7, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Made the same point last night, Doctor Joe, re: NJ (along w/ a similar 'don't laugh' crack), as did another poster, so you're not alone in being crazy.

Posted by: nats24 | December 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Jenn over at Nationals Fangirls already has a claim on Cole Kimball.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Sorry I missed your comment, nats24. Nice to know others have wild thoughts, too.

Posted by: DoctorJoe | December 7, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Werth is Wothless

Posted by: chiro1623 | December 7, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Apparently not chrio1623.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | December 7, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I think we should try and pursue Derrick Lee good glove and a still productive bat yeah i know he's type A free agent but hell we might as well go all in and on another note can we lay off Nyjer Morgan i mean we've hardly warmed up the hot stove and Nyjer bashing has started already.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 7, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

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