John Lannan requested a trade Wednesday once it became clear that the Washington Nationals were optioning him to Triple-A. While Lannan believes a trade is best for everyone involved, Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post is reporting that the Nationals are inclined to keep Lannan.
Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo told Kilgore that trade interest in Lannan is “mild”. Yesterday it was reported that the Nationals had shopped Lannan to at least two thirds of the league. Lannan’s $5 million salary seems to be the sticking point. The Nationals do not want the deal to be a complete salary dump and are asking either for prospects or a bench player in exchange for Lannan.
Rizzo has made it clear that he’s not willing to simply give Lannan away. Washington’s skipper, Davey Johnson, made things crystal clear for reporters yesterday when he said the Nationals are “not trading” Lannan.
While the Nationals do essentially have seven viable starting options with the rehabbing Chien-Ming Wang and Lannan currently on the outside looking in, there is at least one future circumstance that will require an additional starter. Stephen Strasburg is set to have his innings total cut short to approximately 160 later this summer as he continues to build up his durability following Tommy John surgery in 2010.
Washington’s rotation is full of other young, relatively inexperienced arms and the Nationals seem to like the idea of keeping Lannan around as an insurance policy of sorts. They will be paying a hefty price for this insurance, and now that Lannan’s made his trade demands known, it remains to be determined if the Nationals are truly willing to hang on to the left-hander.
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