John Lannan lost his arbitration case, receiving $5M for the 2012 season after he'd made $2.75M in 2011. The 27-year-old '05 11th Round pick, who turned 28 in late September, was asking for $5.7M. If the Washington Nationals tendered him a contract this winter, the least they could offer the six-year major league veteran was $4M for the 2013 season since, as Washington Times' reporter Amanda Comak noted last week, "... players cannot lose more than 20 percent of their previous salary in arbitration." On the day Lannan lost his arbitration case last year, rumors circulated that the Nationals were shopping the lefty around or at least entertaining offers. The Nats signed free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson to a 1-year/$11M dollar deal that same day. Things didn't get any better for Lannan as the year went on.
At the end of Spring Training, the two-time Opening Day starter lost out in the battle for the final rotation spot to Ross Detwiler (who was out of options) winning the fifth spot a week after Nats' skipper Davey Johnson had intimated the Lannan was his guy. The Nationals' 69-year-old skipper told reporters late in the year that he was impressed by the way Lannan handled things in a 2012 season which saw him called up twice to make spot starts before he eventually replaced Stephen Strasburg in the rotation when the right-hander was shut down in September.
"I think he's handled everything great," Johnson said, "When he got sent down, he went down there to work on things. And he didn't go down there with his head hung down. He took it as a challenge to get better down there and he certainly came up and pitched some really good gems." Lannan ended his sixth major league season with a (4-1) record, a 4.13 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 14 walks (3.86 BB/9) and 17 Ks (4.68 K/9) in six starts and 32.2 IP. With the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs, Lannan had a (9-11) record with a 4.30 ERA, 4.46 FIP, 50 walks (3.03 BB/9) and 87 Ks (5.27 K/9) in 24 starts and 184.2 IP.
The Nationals had until midnight tonight to decide whether or not to tender a contract to Lannan. At approximately 10:30 pm EST tonight MLB.com's Bill Ladson reported that the Nationals decided to non-tender the veteran left-hander making Lannan a free agent and likely ending his time with the team that drafted him 324th overall in 2005:
After MLB.com's Mr. Ladson's intial report, FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) reported on Twitter that the Nationals had also non-tendered catcher Jesus Flores and left-handed reliever Tom Gorzelanny. Flores, 28, finished his fifth MLB season with a .213/.248/.329 line in 83 games and 296 PAs, but the Nationals' acquisition of Kurt Suzuki late last season and the impending return of Wilson Ramos made the veteran backstop expendable. Flores earned avoided arbitation last winter and signed a 1-year/$815,000 dollar deal. Gorzelanny earned $3M dollars on a 1-year deal he signed last winter, avoiding arbitation, and had a 2.88 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 30 walks (3.75 BB/9) and 62 Ks (7.75 K/9) in 45 G (1 GS) and 72.0 IP for the Nats. All three players will now become free agents.
#Nationals' non-tenders: Gorzelanny, Lannan, Flores.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 1, 2012
Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak has since confirmed both reports though no official announcement has been made by the Nationals: