MIAMI GARDENS, FL - SEPTEMBER 27: John Lannan #31 of the Washington Nationals pitches during a game against the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium on September 27, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal originally wrote about the Washington Nationals shopping 27-year-old left-hander John Lannan around the league on the day Lannan lost his arbitration case with the team while the Nats' simultaneously signed free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson. The signing of the veteran starter created a logjam in the Nats' rotation which eventually led to Lannan being sent down to Triple-A Syracuse when Ross Detwiler outpitched him this Spring to claim the fifth and final spot in the Nationals' rotation after Chien-Ming Wang had injured his hamstring, eliminating the veteran sinkerballer from contention.
Once Lannan was told he was being sent down, he emailed members of the D.C. press corps to make public his desire to be traded rather than optioned to Triple-A. The Nationals reportedly listened to offers, but found nothing they liked with teams said to be unwilling to take on the $5M dollar salary the veteran of five major league seasons received when he lost in arbitration. Lannan's first few starts with the Nats' top affiliate didn't go well, but he's picked it up recently, and with the trade deadline approaching the left-hander's name has once again been in the news...
FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal, in an article earlier this week entitled, "Angels score big with Frieri", wrote that the Nationals are in the market for a "right-handed hitting corner infielder" with Ryan Zimmerman dealing with shoulder issues and Mark DeRosa dealing with injuries and age all season. Mr. Rosenthal also noted that with Lannan's "continued improvement" in recent starts (the lefty had allowed just one run in four of five outings at the time) he's increasing his trade value as, "... the Nats continue to push him in conversations with other clubs." After Lannan gave up just one run Tuesday night for the fifth time in six starts, Lannan's agent Brodie Van Wagenen @BVanWagenen took to Twitter to remind the Nationals they have an MLB-ready arm at Triple-A:
Mr. Rosenthal noted in his article that the Nationals could keep Lannan as rotation depth for when they eventually shut Stephen Strasburg down, but the FOXSports.com reporter added that on July 31st, "... [Lannan's] remaining salary will be about $1.7M," which could make him much more attractive to a pitching desperate team. Lannan gave up five hits and five walks but just one run in 6.1 IP last night in a start against the Durham Bulls, and he's now (6-6) on the year with a 4.43 ERA, 11 HR's and 33 walks (3.32 BB/9) allowed in 89.1 IP in which he's K'd 46 (4.63 K/9). Will John Lannan ever escape upstate New York?