Chien-Ming Wang is nearly healthy and has drawn trade interest from several teams, according to Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe. However, the Washington Nationals would prefer to trade left-hander John Lannan, who was bumped from their Opening Day starting rotation in favor of Ross Detwiler. Earlier this spring, the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Diego Padres and Chicago Cubs were all said to have varying degrees of interest in Lannan.
The Nationals have reportedly been trying to trade Lannan and his $5 million 2012 salary ever since the team decided to boot him from their starting rotation and demote him to Triple-A. Unfortunately for Lannan and the Nationals, despite his decent track record as a major league starter (career 4.00 ERA, 1.423 WHIP over 751 innings), the left-hander hasn’t drawn much interest since his demotion.
This lack of interest was evident even before Lannan began his 2012 season in Triple-A. Since then, the 27-year-old has done nothing but diminish his trade value by posting a 5.31 ERA and 1.615 WHIP over his seven minor league starts.
At this point, while the Nationals are much more interested in dealing Lannan and using Wang as rotation insurance, potential trade partners are coveting Wang over Lannan. Wang is nearly ready to be activated from the Nationals disabled list, and teams are expressing interest in the 32-year-old right-hander.
Last season, Wang threw his first pitch at the major league level since the 2009 season. Over his 11 starts, Wang turned in a respectable 4.04 ERA and 1.283 WHIP.
Even though the Nationals rotation has been one of the best in the majors, Washington doesn’t look to be in any hurry to trade away their invaluable pitching depth. The team is expected to shutdown ace Stephen Strasburg after approximately 140 innings. Washington also has one of the youngest rotations in the league (Edwin Jackson’s the elder at 28), increasing the value of having veterans such as Wang and Lannan waiting in the wings if needed.
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