John Lannan is still a member of the Washington Nationals organization, and it doesn’t seem like this is something that is going to change anytime soon. A baseball source told Bill Ladson of MLB.com that the Nationals are finding it “nearly impossible” to trade Lannan. While the Nationals “continue to look for a taker” for Lannan, several factors have caused teams to be generally uninterested in the left-hander.
There’s the list of usual suspects; Lannan’s $5 million salary and so-so peripherals. Teams may view Lannan as a major league starting pitcher, but they don’t see him as much more than a an option for the back-end of their rotation. For this reason an unnamed executive told Ladson that teams would rather “use a low-paid minor leaguer” as their fifth starter “before dealing with Lannan’s money”.
Even if a team would acquire Lannan for 2012, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports isn’t convinced that he would be retained through the offseason. Earlier in the week Rosenthal speculated that rather than offer Lannan arbitration next winter, the southpaw’s team may prefer to just cut ties. For this reason clubs may view Lannan as only a one-year option.
On top of everything else Lannan has managed to get off to a poor start… at Triple-A. Entering Wednesday, Lannan had allowed nine earned runs in six innings of work.
The Nationals will need an additional starter later this season as will other teams. It will be interesting to see where Lannan ends up spending a majority of the season; if it’s with the Nationals, their Triple-A affiliate, or another major league team. For their part, it seems as if the Nationals are rooting for the latter.
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