Nationals exploring front-line starter options

Nationals exploring front-line starter options

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Count the Nationals out as far as acquiring Royals right-hander Zack Greinke, according to a baseball source.

The Royals felt the Nationals were not a match in terms of the players they wanted. Kansas City is looking for starting pitching and a right-handed-hitting outfielder who could hit for power.

Washington is also looking for starting pitching. The club is in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes, but general manager Mike Rizzo reiterated it is unlikely the Nationals will acquire the lefty.

The Nationals could set their sights on Rays right-hander Matt Garza if he is available. Rizzo would like to add a No. 1 starter and put the rest of the starting pitchers in their proper places. For example, the organization never considered left-hander John Lannan a No. 1 starter. They feel he is more like a third or fourth starter on an above-average club.

Right now, Lannan is considered the No. 2 starter on the pitching staff. This past season, he was the Opening Day starter against the Phillies.