Boston Globe writer Nick Cafardo wrote this Sunday that several teams, including the Red Sox, had looked into the possibility of acquiring 27-year-old Washington Nationals' lefty John Lannan before concluding that, "... what they had was every bit as good as Lannan, and they were reluctant to give up a top prospect," in any deal for the pitcher. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman writes the same this afternoon, in an article entitled, "At least 6 inquired, but Nats not anxious to meet Lannan request for trade", acknowledging that the, "Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Red Sox, Astros and Tigers," had, "expressed interest," in Lannan before adding that they believe, "His $5-million salary is an impediment to a deal, as teams don't want to give up a decent prospect while expanding their budget."
Nats' GM Mike Rizzo, as he's maintained all along, tells the CBSSports.com reporter that the Nationals aren't actively shopping the 5th-year pro who last year led the team in wins while posting a career-low 3.70 ERA and 4.28 FIP with 76 walks (3.70 BB/9) and 106 K's (5.17 K/9) in 30 starts and 175.0 IP:
"'We haven't changed one bit. We're not looking to trade him. We haven't solicited any trades, but we have fielded some calls. We feel he's a solid major-league starting pitcher. But we feel we have five guys who are better than him. At the same time, we feel he can help us at some point this year.'"
Lannan lost out to Ross Detwiler for the final spot in the Nationals' rotation in a last-minute decision that surprised many including Detwiler, the 26-year-old '07 1st Round pick, according to what he told the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore in an article this afternoon. In a letter to beat reporters covering the Nationals, Lannan revealed that he had requested a trade after learning he'd been optioned to Triple-A, but with no deal imminent, he made his first start at Triple since 2007 this past Sunday, giving up six hits, two walks and five earned runs in just 2.0 IP before was lifted. Tonight in NY, Detwiler will make his first start of the season in Citi Field against the Mets.
Mike Rizzo told 106.7 the FAN's Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier last week that it was Detwiler's, "... work late last year and this Spring," and the fact that Lannan didn't "profile well out of the pen," that led the team to make the decision they did. Chien-Ming Wang's expected back eventually, at which point Detwiler, who had no options left while Lannan had one, will likely move into a relief role in the bullpen. Tonight, Detwiler returns to Citi Field where he made one of three-straight strong starts against Nats' NL East rivals, allowing three hits, three walks and two earned runs in 5.2 IP of a 3-2 win over the Mets.
After that start, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters that Detwiler had been rolling before getting in trouble in the sixth, and the manger called the outing a, "masterpiece game," explaining that the left-hander had, "made his pitches all day. I was really excited watching him." Detwiler told reporters that his good outing was a result of a mix of good control and the work Nationals' catcher Wilson Ramos had done behind the plate. "I was mixing up my pitches, working really well with Ramos back there," Detwiler said, "I give most of the credit to him. I think I shook him off one time tonight and that was it." Ramos was behind the plate for each of Detwiler's last three starts in 2011, as the lefty allowed just 10 hits and two earned runs in the final 19.0 innings he threw. The Nats' 24-year-old backstop will be behind the plate again tonight for Detwiler's first start of 2012.