Commentary

Cliff Lee not a bad seven-year bet

Should a team be willing to go seven years for Cliff Lee? We project the totals

Originally Published: December 7, 2010
By Dan Szymborski | Special to ESPN Insider
Getty ImagesIf you think a seven-year pact with Cliff Lee is absurd in length, you might be surprised.

As our rumor mill has shown, one of the big storylines of the ongoing MLB winter meetings is which team might be willing to not merely give top free-agent pitcher Cliff Lee the most cash -- it's which team might give him the most security. We're talking years. Some rumors have the Washington Nationals as a team that might be willing to go as far as seven years in a deal. Given the Nats' aggressiveness in the market thus far, and the significant length of the deal they handed Jayson Werth, as a projection exercise, we decided to project how Lee might fit in D.C. long-term.

After all, given the amount of money being discussed, it's a near certainty that teams contending for Lee's services are considering their own projections.

What did we find?

While the Nationals may have been rash in giving Werth so much money over so many years, they're doing the right thing in following up by exploring Lee.