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Inching toward a decision on Lannan?

Mar 14, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

US Presswire photo
John Lannan has made two starts but is slated to come out of the bullpen Thursday.

It was probably the Nationals' biggest question mark entering camp, and it probably remains their biggest question mark with three weeks remaining in spring training: What happens to John Lannan?

Truth be told, the Nationals don't appear to have any more definitive answer to that question today than they did when the left-hander first reported to Viera. But one way or another, they're going to have to make a decision sometime in the near future.

If there is a conclusion that can be drawn on March 14, it's this: Lannan isn't going to be part of the Nationals' Opening Day rotation, not unless someone else on the staff gets hurt. Not because of anything he's done so far this spring. But because Chien-Ming Wang has been effective and healthy.

After a designed slow build-up during the early portion of camp, Wang has begun to catch up to the rest of the pack. Team officials were pleased with his velocity and command Saturday during a two-inningRead more »

169 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. MicheleS - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Sadly, I don't think this resolves itself until the very end of camp.

  2. Joe S. - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I think I said this before, but Lannan is not the Nats' only trade chip, and a package deal might be possible. Flores could be part of the package, as could a newly-credible Corey Brown. (We're talking about a CF, eh?) The nice thing about trading Flores is that Pudge might come back. The bad thing about trading Flores is that we lose the best backup catcher in MLB.

  3. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Tigers or Sox or Toronto for some AA prospect and let's move on. It's going to be something close to a salary dump, which is fine. It just needs to happen so that the club can solidify roles and get ready to move north.

  4. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Pudge? What is with the big Pudge love in here? The guy has not been good since testing.

  5. Positively Half St. - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM

    I agree that Lannan is not the only trade chip, but it's hard to come up with the major league player who 1) fills our CF need, 2) is available, and 3) plays for a team that needs John Lannan. If those three conditions can't be met, then it makes more sense to get a prospect or prospects, worrying more about the quality of the player(s) than the position he plays.I hope that the Nats do trade Lannan in the end, for his own sake. Also, if Lannan is traded, it would mean that our guys are in fact healthy and ready to go. Finally, although Purke and Rendon appear to be healthy, the Gio trade still has left a hole in the system that a Lannan trade could start to fill. +1/2St.

  6. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    I don't think that the Nats are even looking for a MLB ready CF right now. Where would the guy play? Werth, Morse, Harper and new CF means someone would not be getting enough PT. Maybe some trade can be made that lands them a prospect with good CF potential, but I don't see them giving away in trade what it would take to get more than that. We'll see.dfh21

  7. HHover - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Unless he's in the opposing team's uniform, it would be excruciating to have to watch Pudge at the plate any more. Put that idea on the been there, done that, got the bobblehead shelf.

  8. ehay2k - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Nice post Mark. Glad we're talking about what to do with an excess of pitching instead of the standard question from all the previous STs: "Which 4 castoff pitchers, besides Livo, can we cobble together into a rotation?"I feel for Lannan, but he's trapped in a numbers game with (hopefully) better pitchers. Best option is probably to trade him, providing we get good value. But, if he spends some time in Syracuse, it's not the end of the world for him.

  9. jeeves - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    What I'd be curious about, Mark, would be, who on those respective teams might the Nats hope to get for Lannan? Or who might they hope to get by putting together a package? For example, would the Bosox give up Dou… (forget his name but he's a lefty starter) for Lannan and Flores, or would that be unrealistic for one team or another. The Sox could also do with a shortstop. Might there be a fit somewhere?

  10. Feel Wood - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM

    I don't think Rizzo is in any rush to dump Lannan. Nor should he be. Wang may have looked good so far, but what has he pitched, five or six innings? He could suffer a setback at any time, and then having a healthy John Lannan waiting behind him to pick up the slack would look awfully good, wouldn't it? Many people say that putting a $5M player in AAA makes no sense, but does just dumping a reliable 180+ inning left handed starter in exchange for nothing make any more sense? Rizzo has the luxury of being able to wait on Lannan. He can wait until Lannan is needed in the rotation (which he very well may be, since we know a starter will get hurt at some point, and we know Strasburg's innings are limited) or he can wait until he gets a good package in return via trade. That could be as late as the trade deadline, or even the August waiver trade deadline. There's no rush. Lannan's value does not decrease by being in AAA. Other teams know why he's there, and unlike Mark says, as a left hander he is not "dime a dozen." It would suck for Lannan personally to be this year's yo-yo starter, but he gets his $5M either way. And ultimately, he will either make a valuable contribution to the Nats this season or bring back a package of value. If Rizzo dumps him now for a bag of balls, he gives the Nats neither of those things. So why should Rizzo feel pressured to deal him now?

  11. Gonat - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Where is Tcosant's option: If Lannan isn't traded he will be waived.I guess Mark Zuckerman doesn't see that as an option.

  12. Steady Eddie - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Sorry Gonat, but Feel Wood was right on the money this morning. Tcostant's option is short-sighted and makes no sense.

  13. Anonymous8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM

    If John Lannan got run support his Win/Loss record would have looked much better. I still think evaluators peek at those Wins even though it probably isn't fair.I value you Lannan as a #3 and I don't consider that back of the rotation. A little surprised Mark considers Lannan a #4 or #5. I think in Houston, Lannan is their #2.

  14. Gonat - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:30 PM

    Steady, I was being facetious. Sorry that didn't come across but Tcosant has been saying it day after day.Of course the Nats aren't going to waive him.

  15. Richard - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    The Nats should keep Lannan. Two of the presumed current starting 5 are 1-year players, if they don't get traded in July. Wang and Jackson probably won't be with the Nats next year. Lannan gives them 180 innings with an ERA under 4 last year. I don't get the Jackson acquisition. A one-year guys when they already had Lannan and Detwiler? I'd even argue that they paid way too much for Gio, giving up Peacock and Milone, who'll probably start for the As, and AJ Cole. Gio better be superman. Rizzo seems a bit confused, like last year when he paid $126M for Werth. (Pls, Jason, prove Rizzo was right!)

  16. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    I agree with Wood, there's no hurry here. If no other starter gets hurt or is dangerously behind in his work, Lannan probably doesn't get enough innings to get properly stretched out for MLB, but that's OK because he can do that in Syracuse. It will be tough to get "equivalent value" for him at this time of year, regardless, because nobody is desperate for a fifth starter, almost by definition. Once the season is going, summer gets here, people start getting hurt and teams start losing games they think they could have won, *then* somebody might get desperate. Sucks for Lannan now, and he deserves better, but the baseball gods often find a way to make it up to you. He could spend half the season in AAA, and the other half putting his team in the World Series. And he gets a lot of money either way. For playing baseball. How tough can it be?

  17. Tim - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    What feelwood said.

  18. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Richard, I think you may be premature in assuming neither Wang nor Jackson will be here next year. If all goes as hoped, and they (and the team) have good years, why not?

  19. NatsBrat - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    I really don't see how Wang rates more value than Lannan. Is it that several years ago he won 19 games for a Yankees'team that almost any pitcher could have won the same amount of times???

  20. Steady Eddie - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Sorry, Gonat, I guess that one went by me without that second cup o' joe.

  21. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I still don't see Wang being durable for a full season. I actually don't even see him going deep into games without Detweiler in the wings. I also don't see him making all his starts. I think the organization is waiting for the other shoe to drop and are afraid that if they deal Lannan, Wang will go down the very next day.

  22. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    This is what I call a place-holder post that Mark puts up so we all can have a place to gab. So–Would LaRoche have gotten to the triple off Clip? Bob and FP seemed to think Lombo timed his move wrong. Went back and looked on MLB.tv but it was going a little too fast for my old eyes. Other than that, Sec 3, I thought Clip looked good and is fooling them with the change and the heat.

  23. HHover - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    RichardThere's no need to have a fire sale on Lannan, but if the Nats keep him, the reason to do so is because they might need him this year, not so they can pay him even more than $5M next year.NatsbratI assure you that the Nats aren't assessing SP by their W-L records. Wang's supporting #s were quite strong back then too.

  24. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:51 PM

    Zuck's a bit all over the map on his evaluation of Lannan today — first he's a 30 start sub 4 ERA horse, then he's a dime a dozen guy. They could hold Lannan up until as late as the All Star break hoping that the new format gets more buyers in the market than sellers, but that has risks (what if Lannan gets hurt, does not pitch well in Cuse, half season rental on Lannan is worth what? — he's a likely non-tender guy for 2013, etc.) I think that Rizzo should get the best deal he can make over the next 10 days or so and get Lannan in some camp before they head north. Holding out for the best deal in an environment not likely to produce a great deal and not getting any deal is not a win. We'll see what happens.dfh21

  25. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:54 PM

    Is it that several years ago he won 19 games for a Yankees'team that almost any pitcher could have won the same amount of times??? That was in 2006 and 2007. In either of those years–Mike Mussina didn't. Randy Johnson didn't. Phil Hughes didn't. Jaret Wright didn't. Andy Pettitte didn't. The reanimated corpse of Roger Clemens didn't.

  26. Canada's #1 Nats Fan - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Count me in the "keep Lannan" camp. Sorry, Mark. Pitchers like Lannan are not "a dime a dozen". While he's no star player he's better than that. I think pretty much any team would be happy to have a guy like him as their # 4 or #5 starter. Send him to Syracuse to start the year. Lannan seems like a sensible guy, not to mention a good "team guy". While I'm sure he wotldn't like it he doesn't seem like the type of guy who would sulk or go there with a bad attitude. He'll be back up at some point during the season, you can count on that.

  27. Gonat - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Anonymous8 said… If John Lannan got run support his Win/Loss record would have looked much better. I still think evaluators peek at those Wins even though it probably isn't fair.I value you Lannan as a #3 and I don't consider that back of the rotation. A little surprised Mark considers Lannan a #4 or #5. I think in Houston, Lannan is their #2. March 14, 2012 8:29 AM_____________________________Funny you say that about Lannan in Houston because Milone in Oakland is being penciled in as their #3 according to Danny Knobler.Its all relative to the team.

  28. Cease the Opportunity - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Anonymous8 said… I had been a Lannan naysayer for a few years, but given the proclivity from knowledge of the Natsinsiders it has learned me good, a pea in the pod is worth two beans in the spoon. That said, this is a salary issue right now. Also, Rizzo's image of a pitcher is hard thrower; Lannan's not. Richard said…You're right.Feel Wood said…Right as usual…For Lannan's sake I hope he's traded though…

  29. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

    Holding out for the best deal in an environment not likely to produce a great deal and not getting any deal is not a win. And that's true, too.

  30. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    NatsLady, I was wondering at the time whether Morse would have gotten it–I figured LaRoche would have gotten a lot closer to it, at least. But regardless, the ball was scalded. I'm not worried, but there were at least three balls squared up on Clippard that inning.

  31. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    I agree with Phil's brother Feel. Well put. A reliable lefty is not a dime a dozen pitcher. Other teams will be interested at some point, the only question is when. In the meantime, stow him in Syracuse as much better insurance for our rotation than Yunesky Maya.

  32. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    I've solved the problem.Lannan, Desmond, and Corey Brown to Boston for Ellsbury and a prospect. We get our CF/ leadoff guy, they get a good reliable pitcher, a young inexpensive high upside SS and replacment for CF. Espi moves to short Lombo and DeRosa split time at 2nd. Harper gets more seasoning in AAA. Laroche traded at the deadline, Morse moves to first making room for Harper. Everyones Happy and the Nats go deep in October.DE NAT

  33. sm13 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    The best course is to keep Lannen and let him pitch every 5th day in Syracuse. We're going to need a sixth starter at some point this season. From all we've seen in Spring Training, we have a barrel full of A and AA top tier prospects. I'd feel bad for Lannen, but it would be best for the team.

  34. FS - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    Reasons to trade Lannan:1) We have CMW (RD as back-up), who according to press is looking better at #5 than John.2) Lannan's salary is at 5 million now and will only go up after next arbitration. Trading him now clears up money now and in immediate future to add a piece or two next off-season.3) His return might be worth something now than a year later. We traded 3 minor leaguers for Gorzo a year ago.Yes, we have an option on him but I think this might be the best time to part with him. Let's be real Nationals have never seen him as part of their future. He was a great placeholder, but that's all he was at the end. Then again, I don't want to lose both Lannan and Gorzo. We might need one or the other later in the season I think.

  35. Dawn - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    Weird watching my two favorite teams play Tuesday (online & very late). My two-cents, both teams are looking pretty good. Btw, love Dirks, like Lannan hope the are happy wherever they land. Paged through comments from game, see you guys & gals are in rare form (s/o to 1a,JaneB & MicheleS you rock). Oh, and those of you who bash Pudge, shame on you!

  36. Sec 204 Row H Seat 7 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:16 PM

    I thought Gorzelany was on his way out or so I read somewhere earlyier in the week. If so, the NATS could keep Lannan in the pen.

  37. Positively Half St. - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Sec 3, My Sofa-The point about the other Yankees pitchers during 2006 and 2007 was excellent.+1/2St.

  38. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    Thanks, Halfstreet. As Bob Carpenter might say, winning 19 games, twice, in The Show looks a lot easier from up here.

  39. Jaxpo Nat - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    I see Desmond also being dealt before camp breaks. Espy would move to short with some mix of DeRosa and Lombo taking over at 2nd until Rendon is ready. Desmond would look nice in Boston.

  40. The Fox - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    FeelWood is correct. Let Oswalt be picked up first and Lannan's value will increase. The extra playoff spot will increase demand.Someone will need a left handed starter. If Detriot faulter early they will trade for him.

  41. NatsLady - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    Sec 3, Clip's previous outing was not on TV, but seemed quick. The first two outings were a bit shaky. So he's had four (if my count is correct). I'm just going by body language, but I'd say he's close but not up to mid-season form yet–which is as it should be. I want RZ to save some of those hits for July.

  42. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Roy Oswalt…geez, I forgot all about him. Looks like the GMs have, too. Good point, though, Fox. I suspect Lannan is more likely to go to a faltering NL rotation, but that may be my bias toward not losing his bat in the lineup.

  43. Mark'd - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    Very surprised by Mark's commentary. I usually agree with Mark.Lannan was a solid #3 based on ERA which is the most impactful pitchers stat. How is that back of the rotation?Also, good points that Lannan would rank as a #2 in some rotations.Cheaper to keep her……uh, I mean him.

  44. ouij - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    Trading Flores to get Pudge back is the height of folly. I wrote a post on this: http://natstradamus.wordpress.com/2012/02/22/why-the-nats-didnt-re-sign-pudge/Since 2008, Wang's FIP is CONSIDERABLY better than Lannan's (Wang: 4.35; Lannan: 4.57). Wang's career FIP is even lower than that (4.04–comparable to Gio Gonzalez's 4.06 FIP), but I think the injury has taken something away from him, permanently. If the Nats are looking to unload a lefty, I think they ought to release Tom Gorzelanny (Career 4.48 FIP). I doubt Rizzo could get even a bucket of used baseballs for Gorzo, though, given the amount of heartburn he causes every time he takes the mound (see here: http://natstradamus.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/preseason-heartburn-rankings/ )

  45. SCNatsFan - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Unless we get a reasonable offer he stays. True he'll be a 5M waste in the minors but isn't the first time that has happened.As for Pudge, I respect the guy and what he has done but please do not subject us to another year of weak groundballs to the right side of the diamond. If career continues to progress on the same track then the choices would be weak grounder to 1B or a foul ball.

  46. Doug - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    It is a shame that we've got two guys on one-year contracts, Jackson and Wang, crowding out Lannan, who is home-grown and under team control for another year. Rizzo needed to sign Wang so he wouldn't look so foolish for paying for his two years of rehab, but we'll still lose him next year. I wonder if we'll come to regret both one-year contracts if it means a hole in the 2013 rotation.

  47. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    Oswalt has said on numerous occassions he is going to wait until mid season to sign with a contender. He isn't signing anywhere now according to him and his agent.Which also brings up an interesting concept. Trade Lannan now. Sign Oswalt mid season and you still have a full rotation of playoff worthy pitchers even with the injury concerns.Then there is always the concept of trading for a pitcher at the deadline to fill in at the end of the season if the team is really contending and there is an injury. Lannan is nothing more than depth at this point and if you can get something to help restock the farm system a bit I think it makes sense. We have pitching depth at this point with Det and Stammen so we are at least 7 starters deep without Lannan and that doesn't even bring Gorzelanny into the conversation. I'm not saying our depth is fantastic but it is passable. The only reason this team used so many starters last season is because they wanted to get a look at Peacock, Detwiler and Milone. I understand injuries happen but we didn't HAVE to use the 10 different starters we used. We honestly could have gotten by with 7 last season. Just something to think about.

  48. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Mark'd, ERA is not the best instrument for measuring a pitchers worth. Fangraphs uses several other measures that are better than that such as FIP an xFIP. Lanna ranks below average in those areas and is considered to be a very lucky pitcher in most circles. The only teams he is a #2 or #3 starter for are non contenders. I'm not saying he is a bad pitcher I just think we value him higher here because he was the only DECENT pitcher we had for several seasons.

  49. jd - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Mark'd, You lost me when you said ERA is the most impactful pitchers stat. Lannan walks people and doesn't strike people out which means he's been pretty lucky. He is an excellent bottom of the rotation pitcher and most teams would never allow him to pitch in a playoff game. The problem is that his salary has now exceeded what a bottom of the rotation pitcher should be earning; that slot can be filled by someone cheaper with minimum negative impact to the won/loss column. Milone is a perfect example of someone who is likely to give you what Lannan gives you at a fraction of the price.

  50. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    After several years, it's not luck. There is some real effect the stats aren't capturing.

  51. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    pdowdy, thanks for the reminder on Oswalt waiting until the season is under way.

  52. Feel Wood - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Gorzelanny is basically a Mini Me of Lannan. Both are LHP who really should be starting if there was a spot for them in the rotation. Gorzelanny makes $3M while Lannan makes $5M. But Gorzelanny looks to have no option years left, so he rather than Lannan is the pitcher who is likely to be released or traded for whatever can be got before the season starts. If there's not a spot for him in what is a very crowded bullpen, Rizzo has nowhere to stash him. He's not helped by the fact that Detwiler is also a LHP who should be starting and is out of options, because Detwiler is cheaper and has more upside so Rizzo is more likely to stash him in the bullpen rather than Gorzelanny. With Burnett also a LHP who's entrenched in the bullpen, Gorzelanny is the odd man out. His only hope is that one or more of Lannan, Detwiler and Burnett either get hurt or implode within the next couple of weeks.

  53. Mark'd - Mar 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    JD, I have heard that luck argument about Lannan for 4 years. It isn't luck. That is him. High WHIP pitcher who keeps them from scoring.

  54. HHover - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    What Sec3 said – Lannan has consistently beaten his FIP for years–it's not luck, and the reason why isn't that big a mystery. He's a strong groundball pitcher, which FIP–fielding independent pitching–doesn't pretend to account for.This is not to say Lannan is a great groundball pitcher–he's obviously not. The reason FIP hates him is because he's a low K, high BB pitcher–which are indeed good reasons not to love him.

  55. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Gorzolanny had some success coming out the bullpen last year. He can pitch several innings in long relief, pitch one inning against the leftie heavy part of the opponent's lineup, or even be a LOOGY. If he pitches decently for the rest of the spring, I think it's more likely that he, not Lannan, ends up in the bullpen at the beginning of the season.

  56. ouij - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

    Fair point. Let's take tERA (that would take all balls put into play into account) since 2008:Lannan: 5.01Wang: 4.90Gorzo: 4.71 (!!! what?)Still a case to be made that Wang should be in the rotation rather than Lannan. Again, Wang's career tERA is much better (4.26), but I doubt we'll see a return to those glory days. As for Gorzelanny: how many walks and home runs can you really stand?

  57. Bozo - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    Perhaps if Lee and Halladay break tehir arms we could trade Lannan to the Phillies for Pete Orr.

  58. John C. - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Feel Wood and Sec3 are right on. Let me explain … no, there is no time. Let me sum up:-The Nationals need to have Lannan as depth (especially in 2012, after dealing Peacock & Milone in the Gio trade) is greater than their need for what they are likely to be offered for Lannan in a trade.-Lannan consistently outperforms his FIP and xFIP because (in part) those stats miss his ability to get GIDPs. His career GIDP (16%) rate is nearly 50% higher than the league average rate (11%) (according to Baseball Reference).-But Lannan doesn't get a rotation spot because he's suffered through the bad years, is a nice guy, or because he just got married, etc. That's not the way this works. He goes where it's best for the team, which may well be Syracuse.

  59. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Wang earned his $1MM last year; in fact, he probably covered the $2.5MM or so they paid him in 2010, too. It would be nice if he makes 30 starts this year (tho I wouldn't count on it), but if he is only as good as, not even better than, he was at the end of last season, that's about what you get for $4MM these days. There is good reason to hope he might be better. Would he start in the playoffs? It's irrelevant–this is March. Even if the Nationals are in the playoffs, and even if he is still the fifth-best starter they have in October, who uses five starters in a short series?

  60. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Let me explain … no, there is no time. Let me sum up:Post of the Day.

  61. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    "Luck" is part of baseball. Some of you stats nerds think yourselves out of reality just like that other math genius, Ted Kaczynski. An out is an out, an earned run is an earned run, no matter how either is achieved. A pop fly to center is as much an out as a strike out unless you're counting "wear and tear" of a 30 yeaar old centerfielder as some sort of burden.

  62. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Lannan is improving as you could see his progression in 2011. I don't care about 2008 or 2010. What have you done for me lately? Huh?John C.,.well said. Mark Z. missed the mark on this one.

  63. ouij - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Luck is always part of baseball. Analysis seeks to determine which part of baseball is luck, and which part is skill. Having that knowledge is the difference between preparing for a certain outcome and merely praying that it happens.

  64. Jim Kurtzke - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    I agree with Richard and others that Lannan's value as a 30-start, sub-4 ERA is too good to toss away. I still don't get the man love Rizzo has for Wang. And I definitely don't understand the Jackson signing. One fragile pitcher and a one-year rental. For that, Lannan should be bumped out of the rotation and Detwiler blocked? I like Rizzo's drafts. But his free-agent signings have been awful.

  65. Anonymouse - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:50 PM

    Jolting Joe, while I agree with you as you are correct, an out is an out any way you get it. I probably do object to the use of Lannan as lucky. He endured years of pour defense and one of the highest error rates behind him in 2009 and 2010.I would rather take the devil I know over the devil I don't know and keep Lannan in Syracuse.

  66. Mark'd - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Jim K, I agree with you. Head scratcher paying $11 million for a 1 year rental of EJax and the love of Wang. when you have an improving Lannan and 2 years of control.

  67. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Jackson is an experienced, durable veteran with a no-hitter and a ring, and credibility matters to this team, this year.

  68. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    If CMW goes down, it could be the Nats who are desperate for a fifth starter. Lannen is a better option than either Det or Gorzo. And when they shut down SS, they will have a ready arm for the pennant stretch (we hope). Unless Rizzo gets equal, or greater value, he's going to keep him. Hard to see John go to AAA, but that seems likely right now. Lannen still has a lot of value for the Nats as a replacement starter for either CMW or SS, or for anyone else who may go to IR.Rizzo and his scouts have likely discussed prospects that they would take for John. If it's the BSox, Tigers and Astros, then they have probably listed all prospects in those organizations whom they would take for Lannen straight up, or in a package.It's a nice problem to have – too much pitching. Rizzo is sitting pretty. He can wait. He's good at that. With Brown a CF possibility for this year, he can wait on that, too. Not much else out there, anyway.Feelwood nailed it.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  69. Joltin' Joe DiMaggio - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    Anon, I think we agree on Lanna's value. He's a solid, unspectacular starting pitcher who can be expected to give you a high 3 ERA. The biggest criticism I would have is that he rarely gets out of the seventh inning which adds to bullpen stress. How would the Nats' season turn out if Clippard went down due to overuse? I wouldn't want to think about it.

  70. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:15 PM

    Lost in all this is the possibility that Gorzolanny may go, not Lannen, if no trade materializes by month end. The Nats can release Gorzo before the season (I think its a 5-day window) and part ways with him at a cost of only $500K. Then Lannen becomes the long lefty out of the pen as well as the 6th starter, e.g. for double-headers.They would get nothing for Gorzo, but would cut the payroll for a guy who is superfluous right now, anyway. They have other options for long relief, if needed, e.g. Stammen, who has been more effective. Plus they free up a slot on the 40 man, in case Mike wants to make another move, e.g. for a new bench player, whoever that may turn out to be. Besides, I would rather have Lannen on the staff than Gorzo. Really, that's what I would do, but I'm not Mike.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  71. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Here's what you do, you send Lannan to AAA and if he feels disrespected, so be it. This is a stud rotation and he is a #5 in this rotation. Times have changed.

  72. A DC Wonk - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:28 PM

    Anony 10:57 wrote:If CMW goes down, it could be the Nats who are desperate for a fifth starter. Lannen is a better option than either Det or Gorzo. And when they shut down SS, they will have a ready arm for the pennant stretch (we hope).Exactly.He also wrote:It's a nice problem to have – too much pitching.No kidding! Look at how far we've come in such a short time: Lannen is having a tough time trying to be a #5 starter — rather than a dead lock for the #1 or #2 starter.Folks — it bears repeating — the Nats had the sixth best team ERA in the NL last year — and that was without Gio, Jax, and JZ/Stras (at the same time).Hoo boy! Pass the kool-aide, lemme take another swig!

  73. A DC Wonk - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    Joltin Joe wrote, re Lannen: "The biggest criticism I would have is that he rarely gets out of the seventh inning which adds to bullpen stress."That's a good point . . . however, other that JZ (and Livo), not too many other pitchers finished the 7th either.OTOH, that was last year. With a healthy year of Stras, and the addition of Gio and Jax, it might be different this year.You may have a point there . . . On the other other hand, do we expect CMW to finish the seventh often?I dunno . . . I'm only an expert for in-game & in-season strategy (manager), not personnel moves (GM). ;-)

  74. NatsNut - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    I hate this post and every comment about it. My heart is breaking here and all you guys can talk about is salary, ERA, wins and losses and run support? I was just fine in my denial, thank you very much.(pout)

  75. Scott from Burke - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Too often Lannan didn't get out of the 6th inning..and he labors..oh does he labor…i think i saw zim fall asleep during one of lannan's 10 pitch battles against the opposing pitcher…HOWEVER starting pitchers get hurt..if the owner is ok with it and unless the Nats get offered an above average SS for Lannan and Desmond leave him in AAA until one of our guys goes down

  76. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    I hate this post and every comment about it. My heart is breaking here and all you guys can talk about is salary, ERA, wins and losses and run support?This made me smile. Years ago, I introduced a four year old boy to the Nationals. For some reason, he decided his favorite player was Felipe Lopez. (I think it had something to do with the sound of his name.) It broke my heart to see the expression on his face when I told him that Felipe would no longer be playing for our team. He then soon decided that Adam Dunn was his hero. Fortunately, he wasn't quite as crushed when Adam moved on. That's baseball. The conversation here is part and parcel of a team moving towards being able to compete for a championship. Hopefully, being able to cheer the Nats on during the playoffs will more than compensate you for the disappointment of losing Lannan or any other favorite player along the way.

  77. MicheleS - Mar 14, 2012 at 3:57 PM

    What Feel Wood said..(agree with all the posts today)I know this sucks for Lannan, but we are not like one said before looking for 4 scrubs plus Livo in our rotation.Pass the KoolAid Please

  78. MicheleS - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Seems Boz is drinking the Koolaid too 3 Weeks til Opening Day! Woo HOO!

  79. Bobby Frost - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    There once was a lefty named Johnny L,He thought getting 18 outs was real swell,Whether he was happy with six, only you can tell,For five mil, he'll be glad to answer the Syracuse bell

  80. sjm308 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:28 PM

    Feelwood nailed this (and nicely written as well)!I have been preaching patience and keeping LannEn in AAA for over a month. He is paid nicely but he is an asset at this time and there really does not seem to be a trade partner at this time. No need to dump him, especially with injuries being a big part of the game.I also have not heard one negative word from him when he was sent down last year. This will not be a new experience for our boy and I see him back up earlier than Sept.

  81. JamesFan - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:33 PM

    C-MW is not the problem for Lannan; Detwiler is. If I were Lannan, I would want to be traded to keep my career on track. Sending him to AAA is in no one's interest, including the Nats who would reduce his value by doing so.Desmond is not going anywhere despite all the fan angst. Maybe later but I think they will stay with him for at least half a season. Davey would have to give up on him, and I don't see that any time soon.Dumping Flores with Lannan would be a huge deal. This guy has the potential to be that big bat off the bench that Davey is looking for in addition to being a quality back up to Ramos.

  82. Unkyd - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    Catching up: hoping nobodyost any sleep over my "plumbing" last night… For the record, my "personal plumbing" is in the best shape if it's life (this at age 52! Woot!). It was the bathtub drain that caused my lack of participation…as I said, under control. Archimedes (I didn't see this answered) was Merlin's "familiar", and an Owl. Also I believe on of the Sofas misidentified Jake as being the Ackroyd character in my favorite movie. It's the opposite; Belushi was "Joliet" Jake Blues, and Danny was Elwood, the oppssm's

  83. Unkyd - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    …..namesake…GYFNG!!!!!!'

  84. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    I don't like the idea of trading Flores, besides perhaps DeRosa, he's probably going to be the best hitter on the bench. Same goes for Lannan, he's more valuable to the Nats than the non-prospects that have doubtless been offered who don't have the upside to be major league regulars. They really weren't all that concerned with the bench before, so I can't imagine they would trade Lannan for what they could have just spend a million or two on a few weeks ago.

  85. NatsNut - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:50 PM

    222,No, still pouting. If we go to the playoffs, Lannan deserves to be there, not a bunch of one-year, right-handed guys.=(

  86. Feel Wood - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:54 PM

    If we go to the playoffs, Lannan deserves to be there, not a bunch of one-year, right-handed guys.Even though as #5 starter he'd never pitch in the playoffs?

  87. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM

    Unkyd, you are of course correct. Thank you. Elwood actually looked a lot more like Dan Akroyd, too. In the words of Jason Michaels, "How could I mess that up?"

  88. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 4:57 PM

    But NatsNut, they're really nice, one-year-right-handed guys.

  89. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Archimedes was Merlin's "familiar", and an owlFrom The Once and Future King? Shoulda had that one, too.

  90. RPrecupjr - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    Thank you for fixing that about Jake and Elwood, Unkyd. I was going to bring that up, but figured I'd get flamed for it since it's not exactly on topic.Now, on topic, I think Lannan goes to Syracuse unless something drastic happens between now and OD.And I wish all ST games were day games, I need the distraction at work :)

  91. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:02 PM

    A little water on the Lannan will soon be traded fire from Kilgore who's down there asking the questions while we speculate and pontificate. NatsNut may be able to breathe a little easier.

  92. jcj5y - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I sympathize with NatsNut. There is a lot of time spent analyzing players and contracts these days, and you end up rooting for laundry, as they say.That said, one great thing about this Nats team is they have control over the core for such a long time. Zimmerman, Strasburg, Harper, Gonzalez, Storen, Werth, Espinosa, Ramos, Zimmermann and a few others will all likely be here for at least three more years. That's rare these days, and it should make pulling for the team that much more enjoyable.

  93. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    awww, let NatsNut have her feelings. I don't know the six-year-old boy in question, but chances are she's a much more discriminating observer of baseball than he is. (No offense, kid. Keep going after it and one day you'll be a "big boy" fan.)One thing that makes me feel a little better about LannEn being sent down, if he does, is that it would be more due to a numbers game this time and not because he was having pitching issues. (So you wouldn't need to write anything inside your ball cap this time, John. Unless you wanted to, of course. In that case, feel free to write whatever strikes you. :-))Also, if he gets traded, it's because somebody else sees worth in him. Would be nice if he could be here *when* they make the playoffs, though, 'cause he's worked hard for this team, and he has a lot of heart. IMHO. YMMV. ETC.

  94. NatsNut - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    thanks 222. Sigh. Don't mind me. Hell, I still think Brian Schneider deserves to be here when we reach the playoffs.

  95. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:05 PM

    That's okay, sec3. We're all shaking off the rust here. Just try to be ready when the bell rings on April 5 and, good lord willing, you can help the ballclub. Sec 3, My Sofa said… Archimedes was Merlin's "familiar", and an owl From The Once and Future King? Shoulda had that one, too. March 14, 2012 1:00 PM

  96. JaneB - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    I'm glad to read your view on Flores, blovy8 — I was fixing to make the same point.I'm in the camp that says we somehow hold on to LannEn. I don't know why Wang's a better pitcher for us — his pre-injury numbers don't hold as much weight (with me) as they would had he been putting up those numbers post-injury. I know they want to get their money out of the investment: they essentially paid to rehab him and it would (possibly) some other team's gain if we let him go. SO I do get why we keep Wang, from that view point. But I think, in the end, Lannan is more valuable to us. And I also agree that it would be nice for Lannan to be with our guys in October, even if he isn't pitching. What a shame to be here so many years and leave NOW.

  97. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    I kinda figured that, Unk, but couldn't resist the joke.LOL at Brian Schneider, NatsNut. Loved the dude. Okay, he can come, but only if Nick the Stick comes with him. :-)

  98. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:08 PM

    We'd never flame about the Blues Brothers, RPrecupjr. We save that for the big stuff, like player transactions. :-)

  99. NatsNut - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM

    1a,ok, deal. ;)

  100. 320R2S15 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    Jezzz. Think you guys have spent enough energy on this issue? I like Jonny, but…..The other thing is if these guys don't figure out how to hit, none of this other stuff matters.

  101. Will - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    I don't understand the reasoning that Lannan is too expensive to demote to AAA. We already have an $8mil pitcher rotting away there, and for good reason.Money will not be a factor deciding Lannan's fate. Rather it will be whatever other teams decide to offer. If it's around Rizzo evaluation, then he'll be dealt. The problem is, Rizzo always vastly overrates his players, so in all likelihood Lannan will stay in Syracuse until one or two pitchers get injured.

  102. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    Okey dokey, NatsNut. We'll firm up the rest of the postseason roster when we get there. :-)In other news, my flex plan tix showed up in the mailbox this afternoon. Wooooooooooo!

  103. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    I meant no disrespect to NatsNut's baseball observerhood. The story about my then 4 year old now 10 year old buddy (a huge Nats fan now living in Roanoke who now idolizes Zim, meaning he's safe for quite a few years) was just meant to empathize with the emotional connection she has to our players. @blovy8's point on Flores raises something I've been wondering. Do we have an emergency catcher who is reliable enough that Flores (or Ramos when Flores starts) can pinch hit in the late innings on a regular basis? Should that person get at least an inning or two of practice in ST? Flores may very well be our best RH bench bat when the season starts.

  104. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:29 PM

    The problem is, Rizzo always vastly overrates his players Except when he's giving away the farm to get Gio Gonzales.

  105. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    320R2S15, this is nothing. You should have seen us in the offseason. :-)

  106. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:31 PM

    Thanks, 222. Gotta have the backs of my sister Nats fans. :-)sec3, yeah, Rizzo is so wishy-washy that way. ;-)

  107. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:33 PM

    You can still root for him, NatsNut, and hope to see him in the post-season like Brian Schneider (alas, looks like Nick is SOL on that count). Just not in this particular laundry.

  108. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    I know this is off topic – well it is about a pitcher. I finally watched some of last night's game on my dvr — Drew Storen was on with fp and carp for a while and he is awesome on tv! I know his dad is a broadcaster and he is a smart, funny guy. He was even able to poke a little fun at bob carpenter. He just seems more mature, more relaxed and settled in. What a great asset on and off the field!

  109. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:35 PM

    For your listening pleasure, on the theme if not the topic … Louis Armstrong and His Hot 7SOL Blues (1927)

  110. David - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    Maybe this has been asked or covered already. But in the articles I've read lately about Lannan with quotes from Rizzo, none of Rizzo's quotes directly address what will hapen to Lannan if CMW wins the #5 spot. Has anyone specifically asked him what they will if that happens, AAA or bullpen? Or does he not answer questions like that…

  111. The Joker - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:38 PM

    If the Nats make the playoffs, perhaps they can salute our past Nats heroes, Lannan first in a long line of Elijah Dukes, Wiley Mo Pena, Kory Casto, Rob Mackowiak, Ryans Langerhans, anderson Hernandez, Lastings Milledge, Jason Bergmann, Shawn Hill, Matt Chico, Garrett Mock, Luis Ayala, Josh Bard, Justin Maxwell, Jorge Padilla, Jamie Burke, Scott Olson, Logan Kensing, Will Ledezma, Kip Wells, Logan Kensing, Zack Segovia and, of course, Dimitri Young. Call them out by name before game one of the playoffs in tribute. And let Nick Johnson throw out the first ball. Just be careful that he doesn't break a leg doing so.

  112. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    I am not sure if anybody else has brought this up but isn't there a large possibility that Lannan would file a greivance against the Nats if they demote him? It is hard to see the players association being okay with a guy who has an above average major league track record for 4 seasons being demoted just because of a jam in a teams rotation. Demoting Lannan could delay his free agency. I believe, because of the demotion in 2010 it would not take a long stint in AAA to push it back another year. Also people bashing the Edwin Jackson signing seem to be missing something else. Edwin is going to be a shoe in to get an arbitration offer at the end of the season unless he absolutely tanks this season. Under the new CBA his salary really won't go up a huge amount if he accepts and then it becomes like a 2 year deal. If he doesn't the Nats get a draft pick. That is why Ejax on a 1 year deal makes sense for the team. We can recoup a pick to help replenish the farm. Also, if the Nats aren't in the race at the deadline they can also trade him. He has been a pretty valuable trade chip the past 2 years. Ask Toronto and the Diamondbacks who were able to use him to help land Colby Rasmus and Daniel Hudson respectively.3rd thing is if we are in contention and you have to shut down Strasburg at least you still have JZimm Gio and Ejax for a potential playoff run.

  113. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    Drew was awesome, wasn't he? He's got at least five careers in him

  114. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:47 PM

    1. Gorzelanny isn't going anywhere. Guess who is the backup for Burnett if he and his TJ annealed arm are ineffective again? That's right Tom Gorzelanny, the only guy with the experience and background … and who was most effective of all relievers out of the bullpen last year. 2. Lannan has been ineffective 3 years running. I don't know why Mark keeps touting the sub-4 ERA when last the only year in the last 3 he managed it. And a lot of that has to do with managers yanking Lannan before he got into too much trouble and overusing the bullpen (See Clippard with most wins and too many innings as a reliever!!! ) It is reflected in his pRAA which was the worst on the club!!! Worse even than Maya!John Lannan 2011 adjusted tRA to be park and defense natural, along with pRAA pitching runs above average (the more negative the more dismal):2011 5.04 tRA -15.2 pRAA 182.3 xIP2010 5.74 tRA -19.3 pRAA 142.6 xIP2009 5.52 tRA -20.0 pRAA 192.6 xIPIn each year these were the worst stats of all pitchers in the Nats rotation.3. Lannan isn't much of an innings eater because of #2. Its why he never gets to 200 innings. He walks too many and allows too many home runs a bad combination for any pitcher. He is far more inconsistent over the past 3 years than Gorzelanny who, because he was willing to move to the bullpen when Carlos Zambrano returned from his injuries, and then return to the rotation saved the Cub's season in 2010. While John Lannan was tinkering with his mechanics in AA Harrisburg.4. As James above states Detwiler is the real problem for Lannan. And again, Johnson has said that Detwiler looked the best of any pitcher in camp. He has a power arm that can juice up to 96 mph. That is what fits best in the #5 spot of the Nats rotation. Doubtless it will be in there soon enough. Can Detwiler be effective? Its time to find out since he won't be under pressure to become a top 3 guy. Best scenario for this guy. 5. If you don't want to believe any of this then ask yourself, why did Rizzo and the FO pursue Mark Buehrle, ostensibly the exact same pitcher as John Lannan? Why did they trade for Gio Gonzalez, sign Edwin Jackson AND Chien-Ming Wang for the backend if they had 27 year old John Lannan? The FO is seeing what I am seeing and most here are blind to it unfortunately. 6. Now Mark talks about what to do with John Lannan when he had Lannan definitely penciled in for a rotation spot earlier on. A lock Mark? See, what did I say Mark? Lannan can't relieve. Lannan can't start. Truly, he belongs in AAA as much as JD Martin did. He is as many here like to say, a AAAA pitcher and that is what he will end up as after this year. And that's a lock.

  115. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    pdowdy, that's an angle I hadn't seen addressed, but he does have an option this year, so it seems unlikely they'd have much in the way of grounds for a grievance.

  116. MicheleS - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Tickets came in the Mail?? OMG I need to get out of work NOW!Pdowdy.. good point. I wonder if Lannan could file a grievance.And if we are inviting old players back. Bring back the Chief! and F Robbie too (he can be honorary manager)

  117. RPrecupjr - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    Thanks for the word on non-flamage, 1a. And if you got your tix today, maybe I have something to look forward to in the mail today.Now I have to figure out how to take a half day on April 5th so I can be at Duffy's. I'm already taking the whole day on the 12th for the home opener.

  118. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:54 PM

    @pdowdy, Jackson is on a one-year deal with no options, so I'm not sure how he is a shoo-in for an arb award. Did you mean an offer from another club? Or am I misunderstanding something again?

  119. David - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    incorrect anon@1:47. Lannan finished with a below 4 era in 3 out of 4 full seasons as a starter. He has reached at least 180 innings in those same 3 seasons, with one of them being over 200. And your 2nd argument is based on one stat, PRAA? Not buying your conclusions. The fact they went after Buerhle does not necessarily mean they don't like Lannan. In fact it could be looked at the other way around. Maybe Rizzo see's value in lefties that get groundball outs, no matter how hard they throw….

  120. Mike Hall - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    I'd like to see Lannan in AAA, even at $5 million. Without him, you can turn to Detweiler, which is great. Then you can go to Gorzelanny, who I like a lot, but is pretty far removed from starting. Then, well, that's about it for quality arms, right? Am I missing someone? (Don't say Maya.)

  121. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    I know Logan Morrison started to file a greivance against the Marlins last year but that was worked out.I also believe the closest thing to Lannan being demoted that I can remember is when the Brewers demoted JJ Hardy. It DID prolong his free agency a year and I believe they had to work out some sort of greivance. I do remember Hardy asked to be traded and was moved that offseason to the Twins. It definitely damaged the relationship between player/organization.While I understand Lannan has an option I think it falls almost in the area of trading him being the classy thing for the organization to do. You don't want to get a reputation as an organization that will demote you when you have done nothing to deserve it just so the guys you signed in the offseason will fit together correctly. It is a slippery slope.

  122. Unkyd - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    One of the really sweet things about this place, is the off topic banter! Keep it up… And, sofa….. Thank you VERY kindly for the Satchmo…———————"For your listening pleasure, on the theme if not the topic … Louis Armstrong and His Hot 7SOL Blues (1927)

  123. RPrecupjr - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    And Vinny Castilla and Jesus Colome (for my wife's sake) and Ronnie Belliard (for my mom's sake) and Jose Vidro and Robert Fick….ok, maybe not Fick. Well maybe Fick can replace one of the two Logan Kensings in Joker's list ;)

  124. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

    Besides, if Rizzo wanted to give him grounds for a grievance, he'd trade him up 95–"Grieve *this*!"

  125. sjm308 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:58 PM

    It's a lock that anon 1:47 is peric -never seen anyone who likes to say, "told you so" more

  126. sm13 - Mar 14, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    It was great to see how relaxed and at ease Drew is this year. He is mature beyond his years.Druuuuuuuuu

  127. NatsNut - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    on another topic: stop telling us there's no concern about Morse's shoulder and do the freakin MRI already!! Sheesh. A knot, a cortisone shot that didn't help him throw beyond 90 feet, hurts throwing, not hitting. DUH!!!!!

  128. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Sec 3, I mean he is a shoe in for the Nats to offer arbitration to at the end of the year. the new CBA takes into consideration an average of the highest payed (can't remember the exact number, something like top 25) pitchers to make the salary now I believe. It would only bump Ejax into the $12.5 to $14 million range if he accepts which isn't terrible if he produces like he is capable of (I know its not an option on the contract but that is what I was referring to.) If he doesn't you get a draft pick out of it.

  129. MicheleS - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    Chase just posted at CSN.. Desi newest trade rumor.. Apparantly the Dbacks are looking.Who or what will people complain about if Desi and Lannan are both gone?

  130. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    While I understand Lannan has an option I think it falls almost in the area of trading him being the classy thing for the organization to do. You don't want to get a reputation as an organization that will demote you when you have done nothing to deserve it just so the guys you signed in the offseason will fit together correctly. It is a slippery slope. This is a good point, too.So EJax would be arb-eligible, even though he's only signed for this season? I don't think I knew that.

  131. Unkyd - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    MicheleS…. Everything, of course! ;-)

  132. fpcsteve - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    MicheleS,Somebody; there will always be somebody. Isn't that weird? I keep hoping that everybody will be "all in" for the Nats.

  133. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:06 PM

    but I must have known that, else how could they offer/decline for free agents? Duh. That's three today. Damn.

  134. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Who or what will people complain about if Desi and Lannan are both gone?I predict either Ankiel or LaRoche, with Burnett on the side just because he doesn't get in every game.

  135. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    I could see Lannan and Desmond for Parra plus something, but don't the DBacks already have Saunders? Pretty much Lannan's closest comp.

  136. Feel Wood - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    I am not sure if anybody else has brought this up but isn't there a large possibility that Lannan would file a greivance against the Nats if they demote him?No, because he's still under team control. That's what team control means – they can do whatever they want with him, provided it's within the rules. He has an option left, so they can use it to send him to AAA. The only thing he could possibly file a grievance about would be if his paycheck bounces.

  137. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    V8, Saunders took a line drive off the leg yesterday–I haven't heard an update, but if he's hurt, that could change things.

  138. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    If I were Jackson and got 15 mil offered in arbitration, I'd take it. Not sure the Nats would want that.

  139. DFL - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

    pdowdy83 has a good point. We have to remember that for all the money ballplayers make, they are human beings. Sending John Lannan to Syracuse is an attack on his pride. Although he is paid $ 5 million to pitch and puts him in that mythical one percent, outrighting Lannan to Syracuse could sour the Nats' relationship with Lannan.Right now there seems to be four ways the Lannan situation will be played out, each almost equal in happening. First, one of the other starters will be injured by early April and Lannan will be needed to start, at least for a while. Second, Lannan beats out Wang. Third, Lannan is traded late in Spring training for a team in need of a proven starting pitcher. Fourth, Lannan is stored in Syracuse for later use or later trade.

  140. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Thought he was ok, indeed that could be a factor. In any case, they've got a young guy pencilled in as their #5, they may be looking for something more solid.

  141. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Responding to sec 3

  142. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Lannan should not muster a lot of complaints from Nats Insider posters, but Desmond has earned the scorn he gets. That guy's done a lot in terms of his poor production and lack of progression to deserve the naysaying. When he's gone — and it is going to happen sooner than later, as Rendon + Espinosa = no room in Nats Town for Ian — we'll complain about the band-wagon fans at Nats Park who are just there because there's finally a winner in town.

  143. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    ?incorrect anon@1:47. Lannan finished with a below 4 era in 3 out of 4 full seasons as a starter. He has reached at least 180 innings in those same 3 seasons, with one of them being over 200. And your 2nd argument is based on one stat, PRAA?@David,pRAA and tRA is adjusted to be park and defense neutral. Notice the big fat FIVE there. Most pitchers improve relative to the tRA versus the ERA if they are solid and consistent. Lannan goes the exact opposite way and I gave the reasons. And your reasoning as as far as Buehrle et al makes NO SENSE. Lannan was ostensibly penciled as this team's #3 starter at the end of last season. Why would you pay a guy like Buehrle to do that when you have a guy who is both a lot younger and cheaper? Why pay 11 million to EJax when you've got Lannan for 5 million? Why pay CM Wang 4 million when you've got Lannan for 5 million? And in the NL East the Nats want and need left-handed pitching! How is it that Lannan lost his arbitration case with all of these great stats who tout? How is that he lost his position as ace to a guy 10-15 years older with a fast ball 10 mph slower? A guy, who, on any other team would be a #5/#6 rubber armed long man? Sorry, but by inspection my arguments seem to hold quite a bit of weight. Yours seem deflated.Personally, I would prefer to see Tommy Milone in the #5 spot to any option the Nats currently have. And I was very sorry to see him traded … and I understand that was part of what was blocking that trade … Rizzo wanted to send Lannan instead … and Billy Beane was too smart and Lannan is too expensive for what he does.

  144. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    v8, checking the dbx site, they say the xrays on Saunders' leg were negative and he'll make his next start. Not even day-to-day. So I guess he's OK.

  145. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    They also said "We are NOT trading Parra, so shut up about it."

  146. Periculum's Really An Asshat - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:19 PM

    It's a lock that anon 1:47 is peric -never seen anyone who likes to say, "told you so" moreEvery time you see pRAA mentioned, just remember what it stands for.

  147. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Desmond isn't going anywhere. The "experiment" he cooked up with his high school coach could land him in the minors as did John Lannan to work on his hitting mechanics. Remember, the majors is a performance league?Desmond has pretty much quashed most of his trade value this spring. The Nats have enough MI to option him while he and his high school baseball coach work on his hitting. If it doesn't work out they demote him from AAA to AA, keep optioning him until released.

  148. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:23 PM

    Awww, leave him alone, he's just not very social, is all. Think "tl;dr" and scroll on.

  149. pdowdy83 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:24 PM

    Feel Wood, you are incorrect on that. The players association can still file a greivance. See my example of J.J. Hardy earlier. While Hardy apparently never filed a greivance he was still able to and the MLBPA was involved. This was also when Hardy was actually struggling. Lannan has done absolute nothing wrong to this point. The players are a union which is who files the greivance for them. It has NOTHING to do with team control.I am not saying that Lannan would win the greivance but it still doesn't look good for your organization to demote a proven major league veteran when he isn't doing anything wrong or performing poorly.

  150. Anonymous - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:26 PM

    Every time you see pRAA mentioned, just remember what it stands for.Yeah, anonymous posters who like to call out folks, call them names and then whine about anonymous posters and how Mark should outlaw that on NatsInsider. Great new stat: pONIAH: people on Nats insider are hypocrites. And whine and moan way too much like a bunch of old biddies. Sheesh, watching that EJax video on the Post-side it looked like all Nats fans are a bunch of crotchety, ancient BinM types. ~smiles~

  151. Sec 3, My Sofa - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:29 PM

    anyhow, there's a new post.

  152. Michael Korda - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:33 PM

    An ounce of hypocrisy is worth a pound of ambition.

  153. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    For those awaiting tix, mine was a small flex plan so not that many tix involved. Yours may come by another shipping method if that's been the case in the past.

  154. DWS - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Good thing, we were getting into bold talk territory.

  155. David - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Lannan was a #3 starter last year, based on the talent level of our rotation. Never an "ace" as you claim. And now we've added Gio and EJax, and replaced Livo with Strasburg. So naturually Lannan is fighting for a #5 spot. Wang is at 4 mil, and Lannan is at 5. Yes Lannan lost his arbitration case, but MLB thinks his stats are worth 5 million. Clearly they think something of his career numbers to give him that figure. I think that's fair salary for both pitchers. What are Buerhle's pRAA and tRA over the last 3 seasons? If they are better than Lannan, then it would be natural for the Nats to chase Buerhle, looking at him as an improvement. Ultimately they decided to Buerhle was not enough of an improvement to warrant what the salary the Marlins gave him. No one is claiming Lannan is an ace. He's a dependable #4 or #5 that was on prior teams with ZERO quality pitching, which made him the defacto ace. But comparing him to JD Martin is ridiculous. JD Martin will never sniff 10 wins in the majors. And youre still basing your argument on two stats. There are many other considerations in valuing a pitcher.

  156. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:37 PM

    Maybe Fick could be the (off?) color guy. Just be sure to have a delay button handy in the booth. :-)RPrecupjr said… And Vinny Castilla and Jesus Colome (for my wife's sake) and Ronnie Belliard (for my mom's sake) and Jose Vidro and Robert Fick….ok, maybe not Fick. Well maybe Fick can replace one of the two Logan Kensings in Joker's list ;) March 14, 2012 1:57 PM

  157. blovy8 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:38 PM

    Please no Colome – the playoffs will go into December if he ever pitches.

  158. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Well, actually, I think one was yesterday, so it doesn't count. :-)Sec 3, My Sofa said… but I must have known that, else how could they offer/decline for free agents? Duh. That's three today. Damn. March 14, 2012 2:06 PM

  159. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I'm guessing whoever has the biggest contract and the most ineffectual performance.Sec 3, My Sofa said… Who or what will people complain about if Desi and Lannan are both gone? I predict either Ankiel or LaRoche, with Burnett on the side just because he doesn't get in every game. March 14, 2012 2:08 PM

  160. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:43 PM

    OAILSNCOS3 (once again I learned something new courtesy of sec3). Thanks.Sec 3, My Sofa said… Awww, leave him alone, he's just not very social, is all. Think "tl;dr" and scroll on. March 14, 2012 2:23 PM

  161. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:44 PM

    Where is everybody, anyway? Oh, right. New post.

  162. natsfan1a - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    The new thing being the acronym, or initialism, or whatever. ANYway, later.

  163. Section 222 - Mar 14, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    Who or what will people complain about if Desi and Lannan are both gone?Werth.

  164. realdealnats - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  165. Rabbit - Mar 14, 2012 at 7:50 PM

    I'd like to see Lannan go anywhere but to the Red Sox. The Red Sox already have enough pitching problems.

  166. lesatcsc - Mar 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM

    If guys like Lannan are a dime a dozen, why doesn't everybody have a pile of them? The answer is simple, because they're not a dime a dozen. By most statistical measures, Lannen was better than half of the regular starters in the big leagues last year. By definition he would be the number 3 starter on many teams' rotations. He might be higher than that in places like Houston. To say 200 inning, sub 4.00 ERA guys are a "dime a dozen" is silly and significantly undervalues Lannan. If they were so easy to find, why was he the best guy we had for several years?

  167. Anonymous - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    I agree. No way Lannan is in the "dime a dozen" category. I'd keep him, and think he's a bargain at $5 million. Who know's whether wang's arm holds up and edwin could be one and gone.

  168. Anonymous - Mar 15, 2012 at 1:57 PM

    Let's see… A 27 year old lefthander who you can pencil in for 200 innings and a sub 4.00 era or a 32 year old right hander coming off major shoulder reconstructive surgery. This should not be a difficult decision.

  169. Dawn - Mar 15, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    No need to bash Lannan, he is what he is. The deal is to put the best team on the field, if there is a better option on the team and in the running, so be it. Lannan is a hard worker, smart, not a problem in the clubhouse and has talent.He very well could be a perfect fit on another team and a sound business pick.

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