The Nationals are among the top teams in terms of both starting and relief pitching. The team’s top two starters are names that most Washington fans are still getting used to. Starting pitchers Tanner Roark and Doug Fister lead the Nationals with nine wins apiece and ERAs under three. The Nationals also have a young starting rotation. Their oldest starting pitcher, Fister, is only 30 years old. They have a young pitching staff that is unstoppable when healthy.
Lee has had a tremendous pitching career. In his best season, he went 22-3 for the Cleveland Indians in 2008, and he has an overall win-loss record of 143-91. Despite his veteran talent, though, Lee is 35 years old and injury-prone. Even though the Phillies may want to acquire young talent and unburden themselves some of Lee’s $25 million annual salary, the Nationals do not need him.
With SP Gio Gonzalez back and healthy, the Nationals have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Lee would be a bonus, if anything, but he isn’t necessary in order to win. The Nationals are also a division rival that would most likely not want to provide the Phillies with any advantages down the line.
Despite being one of the teams the Phillies can deal Lee to without his consent, he will be a hard sell to Washington.