March 10, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan (31) throws against the Detroit Tigers during a spring training game at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

John Lannan not leaving for free


Well, that’s kind of obvious. But the point is, the Washington Nationals aren’t going to sell off starting pitcher John Lannan for nothing on the trade block. At least, that’s what Mike Rizzo told the great Adam Kilgore. Rizzo is still open to trading Lannan, but he hasn’t received many offers and said, “I am not actively shopping him. I haven’t actively shopped him all year, all winter.”

Is that really true? We have been hearing rumors concerning John Lannan for quite some time, but what Rizzo saying has quite a bit of truth to it. For one, Lannan is still playing baseball for the Nationals; he hasn’t been traded. The Edwin Jackson signing made things murky for Lannan’s future, but it isn’t like the team is swimming in a wealth of talent in the rotation. They did acquire Jackson and Gio Gonzalez, the deal for the former being much sweeter than the one for the latter, but Lannan is a solid No. 4 starter who is capable of being worth 1.5 WAR.

The $5 million man is at a good price for the 2012 season, but the Nationals have said that they are willing to option him to the minors if that ends up being the case. They held off on trading the southpaw until at least Spring Training, and teams are interested in acquiring him. Among the suitors for John Lannan include the Toronto Blue Jays, who are seeking more starting pitching.

Lannan is a groundball pitcher who has poor peripherals (5.17 K/9 and 3.70 BB/9 last year), but he has an improving slider to match up with a solid change. However, he is a below-average pitcher overall who is only useful as a No. 4 starter. If a team is looking for a good back-of-the-rotation pitcher, then John Lannan is your guy. However, I am interesting in hearing what the Nats want to obtain for him. He is currently their No. 5 starter and still has value to the Nats; Rizzo indicated as much. However, they would obviously trade him to a pitching-hungry team that is looking to add some solid depth. The Nationals are in a good position right now, and they win either way. The Red Sox, Tigers, and Astros are all eyeing Lannan, which is definitely good news for the Nationals. I mean, who knows what the Sox will do?

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Tags: Adam Kilgore Boston Red Sox Detroit Tigers Edwin Jackson Gio Gonzalez Houston Astros John Lannan Mike Rizzo Toronto Blue Jays Washington Nationals