Thursday the Washington Nationals said they weren’t dealing starting pitcher John Lannan, even though the left-hander requested a trade following his demotion to Triple-A. Yesterday morning Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the Cubs have expressed interest in Lannan as well as fellow Nationals pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. According to Wittenmyer, Cubs center fielder Marlon Byrd’s name has come up in trade talks with the Nationals involving Lannan.
The Cubs, who are known to be seeking pitching, have been specifically tied to left-handers. Lannan and Gorzelanny are both southpaws, and a source told Wittenmyer that the Cubs have already spoken to the Nationals about each of their lefties.
After it became clear that the Nationals were demoting Lannan to the minors, the left-hander came out and requested a trade via an email to the press. Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo has said that he’s not looking to simply give Lannan away, while Washington’s skipper Davey Johnson emphatically stated Thursday that Lannan won’t be dealt.
Despite Johnson’s comments, it’s been reported that the Nationals are inclined to trade Lannan. The sticking point in any negotiations involving Lannan has been his $5 million salary.
Byrd has also has his name come up in recent trade rumors, as some inside the Cubs organization believe that center field prospect Brett Jackson is major league-ready. Washington had been tied to several center fielders this offseason including Byrd.