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GM says Nationals “are not actively shopping” John Lannan

Mar 14, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

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Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reported earlier this week that John Lannan is a strong candidate to be traded before Opening Day, naming the Red Sox, Tigers, and Astros are teams interested in the Nationals left-hander.

Today general manager Mike Rizzo responded to that report, telling Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that the Nationals have indeed gotten “several calls” about Lannan recently, but “we are not actively shopping him.”

Of course, it’s not as if Rizzo would ever say “yup, we’re trying to unload him as soon as possible” and ultimately even if he’s telling the truth that wouldn’t preclude the Nationals from getting an offer they liked and pulling the trigger immediately.

It’ll be interesting to see if some team is willing to part with a quality prospect for Lannan, because while his results so far have been decent (4.00 career ERA in 128 starts) his strikeout rate of 4.7 per nine innings is awful, his walk rate of 3.4 per nine innings is pretty bad too, and he’s making $5 million this season with another raise likely for 2013 via arbitration.

  1. pbsenerchia - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    I’m befuddled by the view of Lannan – that he’s somehow going to regress. 128 starts seems like enough of a sample that this is who he is – decent MLB pitcher, terrible for your fantasy team. Isn’t it results that matter at some point?

    • pbsenerchia - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      NB – my being befuddled is not exactly newsworthy …

    • natstowngreg - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:00 PM

      I’m constantly amazed at how much Lanan gets out of his limited skills. Last season, he had 9.5 H/9, 3.7 BB/9, 5.2 K/9, and a 1.46 WHIP. Doesn’t exactly support an ERA as low as 3.70. BTW, his ERA in 2010 was 4.65. The risk of regression is real.

      Still, there’s always a market for a lefty starter.

      • pbsenerchia - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:18 PM

        Yeah, I think we pretty much agree – I don’t think anyone expects him to stick at 3.70 ERA, so that should regress some, but when he’s consistently outperformed his K/BB/WHIP for 128 starts, you have to expect him to continue to, right? I don’t get the “he’s not as good as his results” narrative that seems to come up with Lannan – he IS his results (which are mediocre, granted, but not bad).

  2. runyetirun - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Lannan + Desmond to AZ for Parra? Seems to work for the needs of both teams.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    I don’t understand why Washington hates pitching depth. Sure, you could value for Lannan, but what are the percentages of teams that use the same 5 SP’s all season? 0%? I don’t see them getting an off-the-charts offer for him, good as he can be.

    • jyoung1891 - Mar 14, 2012 at 9:35 PM

      Possibly because he’s their seventh best potential starter.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Mar 15, 2012 at 11:24 AM

        While that may be true, you need significantly more than 5 SP’s throughout a season, usually. Wang alone requires a stand-in.

  4. natstowngreg - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    So, Rizzo is passively shopping Lannan?

    • bsbiz - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      It should read: Lannan is being passively shopped by Rizzo.

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