According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Washington Nationals are continuing the search for a suitor for recently optioned starting pitcher John Lannan. Last week it was reported that the Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Red Sox and Astros have shown some interest in Lannan. Unfortunately for the Nationals, teams have yet to show serious interest in Lannan and his $5 million salary may only be one of the reasons why.
Teams do not see Lannan as a five million dollar pitcher. The Nationals do based on the fact that that is what they are currently paying him, but even they are trying to rid themselves of his contract.
While Lannan’s current salary is certainly one of the reasons he is still suiting up for Washington’s Triple-A affiliate, Rosenthal doesn’t believe it’s the only reason.
Teams looking for starting pitching depth would certainly have interest in Lannan for the 2012 season, even if they would have to take on a portion of his salary.
However, next offseason Lannan is once again arbitration eligible. Rather than go through the process and find themselves in a similar situation as the Nationals currently are, an unnamed executive told Rosenthal that whichever team acquires Lannan may prefer to simply let him go. For this reason, teams would be less inclined to hand over prime players and/or take on significant salary for a pitcher they are only obtaining for part of one season.
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