After General Manager Mike Rizzo visited Mark Buehrle on Nov. 21, he felt confident the Washington Nationals could land the left-handed starting pitcher, one of the most coveted free agents on the market. As the winter meetings churn forward, his sentiment has not changed, which signifies both a potential boon to the Nationals' rotation and the continuing shift in the team's perception.

As of Tuesday night, Buehrle had winnowed his field to five teams — and the Nationals were one of them. Buehrle narrowed his choices in order to move forward with those select clubs more seriously, and negotiations had picked up with all five. He'll continue the process of shrinking his field until making a decision.