Many around the game of baseball assumed that Chien-Ming Wang’s awkward injury would shut the door on trade speculation involving Washington Nationals starting pitcher John Lannan, at least for the time being. However, rumors continue to swirl around the left-hander as the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers remain tied to Lannan. Not only are other teams still calling the Nationals, but Bill Ladson of MLB.com said yesterday that Washington would still consider trading their $5 million fifth starter.
Yesterday afternoon Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported that the Tigers and Red Sox are the teams “most serious” on Lannan. Ladson later added that, while the Nationals are still not looking to simply give Lannan away, a source has said the club is willing to deal the veteran left-hander despite Wang’s injury.
Rosenthal added two caveats that could hamper a deal. The Nationals are attempting to rid themselves of Lannan’s entire $5 million. Also, Rosenthal points out that Lannan hasn’t been overly impressive this spring.
There is also still the fact that Wang isn’t expected to be ready to go Opening Day. If that’s the case, Washington figures to hold on to Lannan and use him as their fifth starter.
However, this final issue may be solved by the presence of Ross Detwiler. The former sixth overall pick was impressive during his limited time with the Nationals in 2011, and Ladson feels that he’s “ready to be a star”.
Detwiler is 26 and has made 29 starts at the major league level. His presence may provide the Nationals with the confidence and depth they need to trade Lannan this spring.
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