Skip to content

Lannan requests trade

Apr 4, 2012, 11:38 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
John Lannan was optioned to Class AAA Syracuse yesterday.

CHICAGO — Left-hander John Lannan, surprisingly demoted to Class AAA yesterday, has informed Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo he wants to be traded.

"I know what my rights and the team's rights are, and while I am still a member of the Washington Nationals organization, I let Mike know that I believe a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term," Lannan wrote in an email sent to beat reporters.

Lannan, 27, had been tabbed by manager Davey Johnson last week as the club's No. 5 starter, taking the spot that opened up when veteran Chien-Ming Wang suffered a hamstring injury. But two days before their season opener against the Cubs, the Nationals reversed course and named left-hander Ross Detwiler as the final member of their rotation, optioning Lannan to Class AAA Syracuse in the process.

Lannan, who started for the Nationals on Opening Day in 2009 and 2010 and last year led the staff with 10 wins and 184 2/3 innings pitched, is making $5 million in his second season of arbitrationRead more »

148 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:44 PM

    let him go..he has good points. He has been thru thick and thin with the Nationals and deserves a starting job somewhere.

  2. Marty - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Hope he doesn't go, but wish him all the best if he does.Can't help but feel that this could have been dealt with a little bit better by all involved…

  3. Unkyd - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:46 PM

    Classy guy… I hope this works out well for him, but are we gonna have to take a bath to move him?

  4. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    Was this A) a stupid move by Rizzo because now the Nats are desperate and have no chance to get anything or B) really smart because now, multiple teams who know he will be moved will try to acquire him and be forced to compete against one another.Obvious choice is A, but does B make any sense?

  5. IloveCheerleadingX - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:47 PM

    ridiculous, we dont have much starting depth as it is, if he goes, and a few go down, theres a problem

  6. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    Once again – please don't judge a nats pitcher during the last 5 years by his win/loss record. His era has been fine and he has always done everything asked of him. He was our opening day pitchers twice. Shabby treatment.

  7. IloveCheerleadingX - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    sometimes i feel when it comes to the tough decisions, rizzo is a terrible gm, he screwed up with riggleman, gave up the farm for gio and now this, he didnt have to put detwiler in the rotation

  8. Jim Kurtzke - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:53 PM

    If Jackson bombs — and he's shown no sign of greatness so far — then the Lerners should ask Rizzo for their money back

  9. Kevin Rusch, Section406 - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    Yeah, I feel bad for the "dis" that he gets by being sent down. BUT, the truth is he's their 6th-best starting pitcher, and the guy's getting $5 million to stay sharp in AAA. Rest assured the Nats will need him, and that check buys a pretty nice apartment in Syracuse. In the meantime, maybe Detwiler won't cut it; Strasburg will have his innings limit, and someone's going to get an owie sooner or later.

  10. Anonymous - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    i think jackson will do ok, but he wont be worth $11 million, the problem is now he wants to leave, teams will realise this, and theyll get nothing for him, and hes better than that

  11. Cwj - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:56 PM

    Lannan remains classy to the end.Rizzo should now honor Lannan's request and trade him (hopefully outside the NL East).I can't play GM, but I was thinking Lannan for Nolan Reimold of the Orioles would benefit both teams.

  12. HHover - Apr 4, 2012 at 11:57 PM

    Sorry, John – personally, I wish you the best, but if they're going to trade you it, it needs to be because it's good for the team, not because it's good for you. The fact that you were demoted, not traded, suggests your trade value was already pretty minimal, and this only lowers it further.

  13. natsfan1a - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:00 AM

    Classy statement by a classy guy. I wish nothing but the best for him, wherever he ends up.

  14. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:04 AM

    What a surprise!!! We will now have to give up a legitimate starter for a pair of cleats and a plane ticket. Way to manage that roster Rizzo!!! Pay $11 million this year alone for 3 #5 (at best) starters who won't even play and do nothing with the offense. This is why what they did yesterday was a horrible move. Maybe Cutter Dykstra has another brother who is hiding in the minors somewhere. Pretty ironic to see 4 very good ex-Nats playing prominent roles for other teams (Bonifacio, Nyjer, Willingham and Hanrahan). What did Rizzo get in return for any of them??? I guess you can now add Lannan to that list. He just shot the bird in his hand for two in the bush. This is really going to hurt this franchise. Lannan was a great clubhouse guy and a battler out there. What a joke!!!

  15. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:05 AM

    Jackson will be fine. What have I said about ST stats? Jackson has much better stuff than Lannan. He also goes deep into games, has improved his command, throws 95, crisp slider, innings eater, experience, etc.Lets not build straw men to distract from the fact that the Nats have deemed Lannan inferior to the starting 5 (6 counting Wang).It's time for Lannan and the Nats to part ways.Of course its sad. He was a rock for the Nats during the bad years.

  16. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:06 AM

    I hope John gets a shot somewhere. I don't blame him for asking for a trade. He has been a good Nat, he may not be our future, but he deserves a chance somewhere else.I agree with others that this could have been handled better.

  17. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Classy guy. But he needed to get more outs. The guy was given the ball over and over and too many starts did not get past the 5th inning. Sorry.

  18. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Erik- So you don't see it as a "good" problem that the Nats have improved so much that they no longer have room for Lannan?I'm baffled by that.It sounds like you're more of a Lannan fan than a Nats fan.

  19. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    He can ask. No harm in asking. But they don't need to dump him, at least not yet. Look at this way, at least his AAA contract didn't get bought out so he could hold some flavor-of-the-month's [hand] in the bus leagues.Sure beats selling Lady Kenmores.

  20. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:10 AM

    Which is what Matt Chico seems to be looking at, btw.

  21. Section 3, My PFB Sofa - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    I miss Livo more, personally, but neither of them was going to make this roster.

  22. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:13 AM

    Rizzo will likely give him his trade. Cannot see him coming back to play under Davey, after Davey publicly named him his guy for the 5 spot in the rotation, and then humiliated him by asking for him to be optioned down to AAA, because Davey really thought that Detwiler is the better pitcher. How can you play for a guy who did that to you? That was Davey's mistake, not Rizzo's.They will lose some organizational depth, but they can regain some cred with the team by granting Lannen his wish. It is important to take care of your players if you want to keep the good ones you have, and attract the others you would like to have.Rizzo's strength is in evaluating talent, not managing personnel. This is the 2nd managerial fiasco engineered by the Nats brass in less than a year. It was the right organizational decision, but hard to see how it could have been handled in a worse way.Lannen was humiliated, through no fault of his own. Hope he lands on his feet and has a successful career.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  23. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Anyone watching the Marlins-Cardinals opening game?I'm beginning to despise the Marlins more than I do the Phillies (well, maybe not :-) Manager Ozzie Guillen and his team is going to be a huge annoyance to us all year.Oh yeah, they're getting schooled by the Cardinals. 3-0 St.Louis in the 4th.

  24. FS - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I think he should be traded. This situation should have been handled differently. A) he should have been traded before we named our #5 or B) he should have been assigned to minors to begin with (he might have still requested a trade, but at least Nats FO won't look incompetent in handling players). I understand that if RD pans out, we get four young pitchers going into next season. However, I don't think that is worth treating Lannan the way he was treated.

  25. gonatsgo - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:21 AM

    I think there is a difference between having great stuff and being a good pitcher. Lannan does not particularly have good stuff, but he has made himself a good pitcher. Jackson has good stuff but is kind of all over the place. I am not saying he is a bad pitcher, but he is not worth 11 mil. Same with starting Strassie over Jordan tomorrow. Right now Strassie has more potential and a higher ceiling and will end up being the better pitcher. Today, Jordan is the better pitcher. Having great stuff does not make you a good pitcher. It helps a lot, but it's not everything.

  26. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    CWJ-I can't even count the number of times I have cursed Lannan's name. I have never been a huge Lannan fan as a pitcher, but Rizzo just turned a "good problem" into a nightmare when he didn't have to do so. That is my problem. Lannan earned the chance to go out there every fifth day, not because of some sentimentality for his past services, but as a purely baseball decision. I have played or coached baseball my whole life and worked for 2 minor league franchises, and this stinks to high heaven. This is not the way to unite a baseball team.

  27. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    Laddie- Some of us agree with Davey that Detwiler is better than Lannan.I believe the move was the right one.How is this a fiasco? It's not like they demoted Zimmerman to AAA, or released Harper. In fact, this move has hardly been mentioned by anyone outside the Washington media.

  28. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    John, give up your $5 mill salary and we might be able to find somebody willing to take you. Everybody in baseball knew you were available for the past 6 weeks and nobody offered more than a bucket of sunflower seeds.You were very fortunate to amass major league service time on an awful team with a minor league starting staff. You were then incredibly fortunate not to be non-tendered. Go pitch in Syracuse for a month. Odds are someone will get hurt or blow up and you can come back and give us 5 1/3 mediocre innings every 5th day.Thanks and good luck!

  29. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:24 AM

    Sigh.. Peter Gammons just said he thought that Pudge would retire this year (and go into the HOF in 5 years)

  30. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    There is nothing wrong here, at the moment it was the prudent thing to do. He didn't give them an overwhelming reason to make the staring rotation and he had options left. He will return due to injury, probably soon, almost a certainity.He's understandably dissapointed because he's a major leaguer making major league $. A class act, he has expressed his feelings and we will see what the next month brings..Nats don't want to be caught "short armed"..

  31. Cwj - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:26 AM

    Gonatsgo- those are good points. Erik- You are definitely passionate and I respect that :-) But I disagree with you.

  32. Young Pitchers - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:27 AM

    he needs a new agent.

  33. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    I don't get describing Lannan as classy. I just lost what little respect I had for him.

  34. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:36 AM

    Someone needs to pay Lannan 5 million. And according to the rumors that have been revolving around his trade possibilities no one wants to do that least of all Nats ownership. Rizzo got him that 5 million of that I am sure Erik. Again, Livo is the better starter RIGHT NOW. He is making a lot less last I looked and he has a world series MVP by his name. Lannan is making as stupid a move as Riggleman did but I guess he has to learn the hard way … pitching and playing baseball is a privilege afforded to a very few. And John Lannan isn't one of the best at his craft.

  35. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:38 AM

    I don't see why optioning Lannan to AAA is such an insult. In fact, other than Rizzo's comments, I think the Nats treated him fine, once you accept that they made the decision that Det was better. This is a competition, after all, a highly paid one, and the manager and front office are the ones who decide who wins. That is the structure that everyone agrees to when they play pro baseball, and they have to live with the decision. Not like it, but accept it. Now, Rizzo also made a few comments that, while not directly insulting, had the same effect, in my view and should have been avoided.Plus, there is at least an argument that, once they decided to go with Det, they actually treated Lannan well. They could have cut him outright, saving about 80% of his salary. Would Lannan really have preferred that? He would only make about $1m from the Nats this year, and would not likely have gotten $4m from another team at this point. Faced with that choice, which would most of us prefer? I'll bet that a number of the players view the Nats decision to pay him his full salary as a solid turn by the team towards Lannan.Lastly, the team owes us to put themselves in the best position to win, and paying JL an extra $4m to have him around in case he is needed is a show of good faith to us. I don't blame Lannan for asking for a trade, but I expect that he'll do his job, wherever he plays, to the best of his abilities, like the class act that he is.

  36. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:40 AM

    Lannen was humiliated, through no fault of his own. Hope he lands on his feet and has a successful career.I doubt this was even close to as humiliating as what was said about him in his arbitration meeting that he lost. And every major league team is going to know why if their scouts are any good.So, John want don't you have your agent find a team willing to boost you up to the majors to pitch for 5 million? I dare you to try … I double dare you!

  37. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I do think John is classy. He stated his disagreement with the Nats view of his abilities, which is his way of standing up for himself, asked for a trade, which also is fine, but then said 'I'll go do my job'. A lot of people in his spot would say 'trade me, and I won't play until you do' to try to force something to happen.

  38. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:44 AM

    Pretty ironic to see 4 very good ex-Nats playing prominent roles for other teams (Bonifacio, Nyjer, Willingham and Hanrahan). What did Rizzo get in return for any of them??? Well, for Willingham he got Henry Rodriguez. Perhaps you've heard of him. His name has been mentioned a good bit here of late. And for Bonifacio he got Willingham, who begat the aforementioned Henry Rodriguez.You really ought to pay better attention before you shoot your mouth off like that.

  39. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:45 AM

    Btw, I am also watching Marlins-Cards, and Hanley @3rd is going to be fun to watch this year (for us Nats fans, that is).

  40. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:46 AM

    This is a Lerner decision not a Rizzo decision hoping that John would quit and save them big bucks.John – throw it at the bull or anything else…make them cut you.

  41. NatsNut - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:50 AM

    Man this breaks my heart. I just want to cry.He's been a solid starter for this organization for 4+ years and he's getting bumped by a guy with twice his salary who'll be gone in a year, a scrawny punk who figured out, like, a minute ago, how not to get pummeled after the 3rd inning and another guy we've paid $7.2M to rehab for 2+ years? Even setting aside just treating the guy with a little class, there are still solid baseball reasons for Lannan to have been treated better than this. It just doesn't make sense. Surely this couldn't have started with the haggling over $700K and going to arbitration could it? Is Rizzo spiteful?

  42. JaneB - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    I wish they had traded him this spring. Does his desire to be traded make it harder for a deal to be found? I feel like John has always been undervalued. That's an outsider's perspective, for sure. I wish him all the best. The Mets could use him, frankly — though I don't know what they have (that we could get) we could use in return. ANd it keeps him in our division. I just want to have something good happen for him. He DOES deserve it. He has been better for us than his record indicates.

  43. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:54 AM

    CWJ-I can't even count the number of times I have cursed Lannan's name. I have never been a huge Lannan fanI'm not sure I follow you Erik? First you claim that Lannan was better than Livan Hernandez a guy who was the franchise's defacto ace and stopper for three years until Zimmermann got back from Tommy John's and started pitching effectively last year? And you claim to know baseball from working for minor leagues and coaching? Yes, this is a bit of a mess the Nats have created and they did it with good intentions. Nothing says they had to pay John Lannan, they could have easily non-tendered him, even Pattersoned him before the real money kicked in? The Nats have been treating the guy good considering he lost the competition last season … really 3 years ago to Livo. And oh, Livo is gone right? Now, why again? Sheesh everyone purports to be a baseball expert and usually knows so little about what is really going on …

  44. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:55 AM

    Not only did they decide that Det was better in this situation than Lannon, but they had already decided Wang was. What did he think was going to happen when he made it clear he wouldn't/couldn't work from the bullpen as Gorzy, Detwiler and Stammen have?I tried to be sympathetic to his "plight," but now he is coming across as greedy (arbitration) and arrogant. Wally makes excellent points, except saying it's classy. It is not classy to whine to beat reporters and make demands the day before the most hopeful opening the Nats have ever had. Yuck.

  45. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:57 AM

    I wish they had traded him this spring. Does his desire to be traded make it harder for a deal to be found? When the Nats tendered him the five million to pay him for his past service to the organization … to show him loyalty they had to know they would almost completely precluded the possibility of trading him. I am certain ownership has been pushing for a trade … but no one wants John Lannan for five million and that is the reason why the Lerner's want to trade him, to remove the 5 million from the payroll so that it can be used elsewhere in the draft this coming June.

  46. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:58 AM

    Feel Wood-Bottom line is we got 2 major leaguers back for 4, and both are 7th inning relievers. Willingham had almost 100 RBI's last year and like 30 HR's. Instead, we sign Werth for $126 million. To me, not smart management. I understand that all moves aren't going to work, but the GM should be creating value for players, not giving them away. We don't have limitless funds like other teams. Do you really think he would have traded those guys if he knew the numbers they were going to put up. Doesn't seem to have a very good eye for talent.

  47. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    The class move would have been to move the guy for whatever they could have gotten to an AL team and hope to see the guy in the WS. The Nats are not going to use him and even if they have an injury, he might not even be the first guy called up, so let the guy go already. You know that the vets on our roster want to see the club do well by a player like Lannan, and you know that the FA guys out there want to play for clubs that won't treat them like cattle. The club is paying him $5M in any event, why not get something in retrun even if they end up paying the bulk of his salary to pitch in the AL for another club.dfh21

  48. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    This is about the WNats competing at the highest level. He stays in Syracuse. He will be needed this season.$5M should soothe is ego.

  49. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    Erik, are you kidding??????? Willingham is an aging free agent and Henry is 24. Look what they got for Matt Capps. No eye for talent? Capps was on the scap heap, so was Wang, Nady, DeRosa…

  50. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I think we can count on Boz to put this in the right context:Thomas Boswell‏@ThomasBoswellWPJL got bad break but (reality check) Nats dyin' to deal but can't get box of rox Eat $5M to do trade? No way. Shhh, pitch, protect good repght terms:

  51. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:05 AM

    I hope for John's sake that he gets his wish and lands in a major league rotation. He has served the Nats very well during some very rough years.That said, folks need to quit pounding on Rizzo. He made the choice because it is best for the club in the short term and long term. In a month he'll have to make another choice when CMW comes back. Rizzo knew that Lannen would be gone then anyway. Maybe it was better for everyone not to prolong the agony.

  52. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    I rarely post here, but I have to say I don't care for him e-mailing the beat writers and making his trade request public. He could have kept it private and gone down to Syracuse and pitched well while Rizzo tried to accommodate him – instead he got all bent out of shape and diminished his own trade value. I personally hope the Nats hang on to him as I do not believe it's in the best interest of the club to trade him, especially now that he's tanked his value – I think we're going to need him at some point, especially down the stretch, and I'd like to see us keep him in Syracuse regardless of how he feels about it.Jim

  53. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    NatsLady — Lannan very likely thought, the same thing everyone thought, that the Nats would tarde him. Then Wang goes down, so he figures — and Davey tells him and the world – that he's made the club and will get a chance to show he can pitch. But Rizzo's been looking for Mike Trout and Kendry Morales in return for him, or the like. Rizzo always thinks that his piece is worth more than nayone is willing to pay. Not to mention that he's deathly afraid that any MLB guy he moves MIGHT be good someplace else.

  54. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    I should add that I think the demotion should have been handled better, telling him in the 3rd inning in DC is BS – it should have been done before they came north.Jim

  55. whatsanattau - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:10 AM

    Willingham is a very fine player, but he is not a good fielder. He would make routine plays look difficult and people would say how much he had improved. He could not stay healthy. Though he had a bad year last year, Werth is a better player on every level. Bonifacio would be nice to have now, but Hrod for the Hammer was unquestionably a good trade. (And Brown may yet be a bonus). In retrospect should they have traded Bonifacio for Willingham and Olsen? Well it was not a bad trade, and you can't just discount 2 years of Willingham performance like it did not happen. And trading away 1 year of Willingham for HROD was absolutely a good deal. IMHO.

  56. SonnyG10 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    I think this was a decision, first by Davey Johnson, and agreed to by Mike Rizzo, to make the strongest opening day roster possible (the best 25 go north). I do not think it was an intentional slight to John Lannan, nor do I think it was badly handled. Davey and Mike are making important judgements about personnel here and have used every last minute to evaluate. I think John would have been sent down anyway when Wang returns from DL. They weren't going to put him in the bullpen. I believe Detwiler has the stronger upside and deserves to be considered for a spot on the rotation.When I first started rooting for these Nats, I knew there would come a day when a favorite player would get cut or traded if the Nats were to become successful. This is just the start. There will be more as time goes by.

  57. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:12 AM

    Making a private demand for a trade is worthless. The player has to leverage the public/media to have any leverage. The guy's doing what he has to do to make it known that he's unhappy and highlighting the fact that the club's pushing him out of the bigs because Mike Rizzo cannot manage a MLB roster.

  58. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:13 AM

    Here I agree with dfh1. Apparently $5 million didn't soothe his ego. He wanted $5.7. Now Rizzo will have to Nyjer him and eat salary to boot. Doesn't he have the same agent as RZ? You have to trade him, you can't have this mediocre malcontent in the organization.

  59. whatsanattau - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    And while I like and appreciate John Lannan, I think he got bad advice or did not follow good advice in going public. It's not helpful. The Nats were already motivated to trade him for equal value because of the money. Now they may find that the best way to build his value back up is to hold him a bit longer.

  60. Dawn - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:14 AM

    I too thought Lannan's statement was on the classy side. Think what he is feeling is a culmination of events that have happened over his career with the Nats. Is it just me or was his being demoted during the third inning of a game (pre-season or not) decidedly un-classy? I mean isn't Davy supposed to be concentrating on the game, did he off-handedly throw it out to Lannan between pitches, youre out?

  61. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:16 AM

    Even if you agree with the move – and I think most people actually do agree with it, you have to admit that this was not a bright spot going into opening day.We should be really pumped up and excited and we are all torn over the way this went down. Again, even if you agree with it – aren't you somewhat uneasy with how this happened? These guys might be brilliant at scouting and managing a game, but they are quite inept at managing difficult personnel problems.

  62. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Ok, I hate the gushing praise for the Capps for Ramos deal. It was a nice move for both clubs. Look at it objectively and in terms of context. The Twins needed a Closer and were playoff contenders. They traded for a Closer — who helped get them to the playoffs and it cost them a quality catching prospect, of which they had a couple. Capps had a year of arb left too. Rizzo made no steal and he might have been able to get more for Matt Capps – a CF maybe? – but went for a ctacher after the club blew Jesus Flores's shoudler into gravel.

  63. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:17 AM

    Cwj said… Laddie- Some of us agree with Davey that Detwiler is better than Lannan.I believe the move was the right one.How is this a fiasco? It's not like they demoted Zimmerman to AAA, or released Harper. In fact, this move has hardly been mentioned by anyone outside the Washington media. April 04, 2012 8:22 PM___________________________________Better is relative to opinion. Ross Detwiler has done nothing in the Majors as a regular starter, only as a well rested spot starter.Fans are enamored with a blazing fastball. I am enamored with a pitcher that gives his team an opportunity to win every time he takes the mound and Lannan did that 90% of the time last season.

  64. bdrube - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:18 AM

    Wow–I never thought I would ever say this, but I agree with Boswell. Shut up, take you five million (more than most of us will ever make in our lifetimes) and go pitch already. I'm rapidly losing whatever sympathy I felt for Lannan.

  65. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:23 AM

    NL – even if, for argument's sake, i agree that the trade request was not classy, I don't think it makes him a malcontent. He said in the same statement that he is going to go do his job, wherever that may be. There is a middle ground there.The absolute worst thing for the Nats to do would be to dump him for Cutter Dykstra. Ladson tweeted that the Nats have talked to over 20 teams, and are looking for a bench player(s) or prospects but don't want to eat any salary. No takers.At this point,I say send him to Syr and let the season play out. It will blow over, and he is worth more to us as insurance than anyone will trade us (at least right now).

  66. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:26 AM

    Excuse me, but if anyone got bad break, it was CMW. He will lose a month of starts and the incentive $$ that goes with it. Lannan's salary is guaranteed, isn't it? So, if he doesn't want to be part of a winning team, even if it's later rather than sooner, fine. Send him to Seattle.

  67. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:27 AM

    Here's the thing.. Tomorrow at 2:20 pm EST, this will all go away. JL will either be in Cuse or on another team. We won't think about this, dwell on it or debate it (unless Ross stinks up the joint). And you know what at this point, I am ready for the season to start. I am ready for the games that actually count and for the chase to begin. GYFNG!!!

  68. Erik - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:30 AM

    Nats Lady-Please look up the stats on Willingham. He is the same age as Werth. He put up vastly superior numbers last year and his career averages are almost identical. Why would you possibly pay Werth $12 million more per season and give him a long contract with a no trade clause? Like I said before, the Nats have limited funds. If they had a $200 million payroll, then fine, sign him to that monster contract. As it stands now, that money could have been put to much better use. Like signing a veteran for a couple of years that can hit. Whatsanattau-I hope you keep that same mindset when Storen gives up a few dingers and loses his job to Rodriguez…then requests a trade. You can just see that coming a mile away. After all, Rodriguez has better stuff…just like Detwiler.

  69. Gonat - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:31 AM

    NatsLady said… Here I agree with dfh1. Apparently $5 million didn't soothe his ego. He wanted $5.7. Now Rizzo will have to Nyjer him and eat salary to boot. Doesn't he have the same agent as RZ? You have to trade him, you can't have this mediocre malcontent in the organization. April 04, 2012 9:13 PM _______________________________No way no way. You don't trade him unless the deal is a good one for the Nats. Lannan is under team control through 2013.

  70. sm13 - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:32 AM

    Swami, I am still pumped for the season. This is the best group of 25 ever to come north for the Nats and yesterday's moves did nothing to dampen my spirits.

  71. Golfersal - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:33 AM

    Looks like the Jim Riggleman problem.As good as Rizzo is he may not be the best in these kind of situations.The same with Davey Johnson, he told Lannan that he was the fifth starter ten days ago, maybe he needed to keep quiet until the decision was made.Everybody is a loser on this.

  72. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Wally, if I could believe that Lannan would go to Syracuse and not be a bitter AAA guy, fine. But actions speak louder than words. He knows the Nats have tried and tried to trade him, but he made it very difficut with the arbitration move. The class, which everyone here expected, would have been to say, I want to be part of this team that will finally win for the FANS AND MY FRIENDS AND TEMMATES, who have waited so long. And if that means me riding the bus for a month or four, then that's what I'm gonna do, and by the way, while I'm there I'll learn Brycie boy how to hit lefties.

  73. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:41 AM

    Watching Marlins-Cards, we ought to trade for this guy Rzepczynski. I don't know if he is any good, but watching Ray Knight trying to say his name would be off-the-charts.

  74. Golfersal - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:42 AM

    I just have to wonder in thinking about this for a moment, if Davey liked Lannan and may of been overruled by Rizzo?This is not a mistake that a veteran manager makes to tell someone he is a starter and then change his mind ten days later.I see the hands of Rizzo that forced this changed.Just a gut feeling.

  75. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:43 AM

    very surprising that they optioned him to Triple-A.Check out my blog(for class) natscity.wordpress.com

  76. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:44 AM

    Er, teammates.

  77. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    sm13 – thanks for saying that – this has really put a damper on things for me – I love the guys but have found this to be a blot on the organization — I am still really excited about the team and I need to move on to opening day giddi-ness. Things have a way of sorting themselves out and I hope this situation does – for everyone involved.

  78. MicheleS - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:45 AM

    Wally, watching too. Ray Knight saying that name would be a hoot.Did you notice that the park is already starting to empty out! Lots of empty seats in the last few innings!

  79. JohnDC - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    Here's the deal folks: The Nats need 7 starters in the organization (MLB/AAA), not 5, b/c Stras is innings-limited and you KNOW at least one other injury will occur to the starting staff. Therefore, we need Wang, Detwiler and Lannan. (We could trade one, if we could get something, and use a Stammen or somesuch to fill one of the spots). Without a great trade possibility showing up so far, for the indefinite future Lannan needs to stay in the organization. And making him pitch in Syracuse would be a nice reward for him publicly showing up the organization by shooting his mouth off.(I liked Lannan til today). So the best 26th goes WAY north. Let's forget about him until we need him in a few weeks (or trade him).

  80. gonatsgo - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:47 AM

    I have been watching the opening night game. First off – I hate watching games on espn. Second – that new stadium is a hot mess. Make sure you have eye protection available when we have to play there. I don't know how our team will get through it without laughing their guts out.

  81. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:48 AM

    Trying to watch Marlins-Cards and exercise and type. I see the fish got a run. Was it a dinger? I wanna see the machine once but not agsinst us.

  82. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:49 AM

    Michelle- yeah, not as bad as the old days, but it doesn't bode well for them. JJ didn't look too good either, although I think he got out of there with a 'quality start'.I have been trying to find out how Miami did with season ticket sales, but I can't find anything. I suspect that they are noticeably below expectations.Last chance to see the exploding scoreboard tonight. I am rooting for a HR (solo shot only).

  83. Wally - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:51 AM

    NL – no, Buck hit a 2b, scoring … I forget who. Came after a blown call on a DP. Cards should have been out of the inning.

  84. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:54 AM

    With the Red Sox closer out for several months, they might want to put Bard back in the bullpen. Might be something worth exploring there. Whatever one thinks of Lannan, or of Rizzo's moving him to Syr, his future with the Nats is now fatally flawed.

  85. whatsanattau - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:56 AM

    I know you think you can see something a mile a way, but I don't think you realize that what you see is not what is there.

  86. FS - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:57 AM

    I am going to hire a guy for a full time position my firm needs, let's say Statistician. I publicly announce that and then a week later, I promote another guy for the same position and I assign the first guy some desk duty for same pay. Should the first guy be happy that he is getting paid for a cheap job or should he be insulted that his career is in a limbo? Isn't Lannan's situation the same? I do not understand all hate John is getting here. This situation is not his fault.

  87. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    Mark Zuckerman's pick of Josh Johnson as CY just took a hit tonight. He looked ok. Not great.

  88. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:02 AM

    Well, that cheered me up!!! Fish now in the NL East cellar, where I hope they will stay. How pissed is Ozzie to lose the home opener? THANK YOU, Cards.

  89. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM

    Should the first guy be happy that he is getting paid for a cheap job or should he be insulted that his career is in a limbo? Isn't Lannan's situation the same? And the answer is NO1. Is the pay for the statistician the same as Lannan's, No, not even close. Lannan is paid to perform as a pitcher in front of paying crowds. He is an "actor" in a sense and typically they do what the director wants. If they do what Lannan has done they usually find it hard to find another film or TV show to work at.2. The statistician would quietly work at the job assigned while looking for another job. Lannan can't do that because he signed a FIVE MILLION dollar contract in the midst of a really bad economy. Can John Lannan find that kind of pay anywhere else? NO.3. Lannan still ask for his release and void the contract. I am certain the Nats would accommodate him in this. Do you seem him doing that FS? Because if Lannan really wants to start over with another team that is precisely what he must do … THIS YEAR. He will get baseball's minimum somewhere else and they will put him in AAA unless they are desperate for starters … So, I'm afraid your argument doesn't hold much water.

  90. Mick - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:14 AM

    I hope cooler voices will prevail and Rizzo and sooth this over. we will need Lannan at some point this Spring, I feel it.

  91. FS - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:19 AM

    Statistician pay may not be much but it still is significant for an average American. I have heard of many actors getting killed on the show because of contract disputes. Anyways, statistician would never work at that job because it is not going anywhere. Lannan does not need to prove himself at AAA. Rizzo made it very clear yesterday that we have five better pitchers than JL. Then he had also said that JL was a big league pitcher so why is he in AAA.My whole problem is how this was handled. He should not have been named #5 if you were gonna do this to him. I agree with some of NIs, this is Riggs all over again.

  92. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:21 AM

    When we wake up tomorrow, it will be the Nats opening day. That, folks, is cause for celebration. GYFNG!!!

  93. MurrayTheRed - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:24 AM

    I really agree with NatsLady on this one, and others. But let me add something. What people are missing is the money. I had a boss that would always say if your not sure what's going on follow the money. Lannan in AAA definitely lowers his chance at a big payday at the next Arbitration hearing. He needs to be on an MLB roster to increase his value for next year. That is why he wants to be traded, if he comes back up to the Nats MLB roster later in the year it's not the same. I like Lannan but that has nothing to do with this, and he's not a bad pitcher at all – He could make the starting five for at least half of the other teams in the MLB. Rizzo doesn't want to trade him because he knows he will need him later. BTW Jackson even at $11M is just a one year rental, we've bought Lannan and if not this year will need him next year. Okay that is enough run-on thoughts for this post… See you all at the park on opening day!

  94. ehay2k - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    I like Lannan a lot, in no small part for how he has carried himself since he arrived. But he's not an ace, and barely a number 5 starter on this staff. Lannan is a bit of a nibbler at times, and I have never seen him dominate, but have seen him fall apart. Say what you want about EJax, he has pitched a no hitter despite eight (need stat checker) walks and a hit batter. (He has also pitched in the WS. )I do NOT like the decision to E-mail the beat writers. (Anyone see Kilgore's post headline? Sigh.) That is no way to increase your trade value. And unless you do that, you are going nowhere – you should consider firing your agent if he didn't object to your e-mail.Lannan is under control until the end of 2013. He will earn $5 million yearly. He is one injury away, on our staff or some other, from pitching in the show. The best way to show he belongs is to shut up and pitch like a major-leaguer in AAA.

  95. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM

    People keep talking about Lannan sticking with the team through some lean years and being a "good soldier," but the flip side of that is that he never would have gotten the opportunities he had if he'd been with a good team. You think he'd be making $5 million and have two Opening Day starts on his resume if the Nats had been any good? He's basically a league-average pitcher. On a good team, he maybe would have have been a long-time minor leaguer who got a chance to be a fifth starter. Or he might have been tabbed for the bullpen and washed out. So, sure, he was a good soldier, but he got rewarded for it, too.

  96. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    I just heard about this and haven't read all the comments, so maybe I'm missing something, but I have a hard time understanding what was classy about sharing what he told Rizzo with the beat reporters. Does he think that Rizzo will be more likely to trade him now that he's made his desire public? (Doubtful.) Does he think that other teams are likely to now offer more for him? (Even more doubtful.) Does he think this kind of public statement will impress other GMs who might be interested in him? (Seriously doubtful.) The Nats made a tough business decision. It wasn't personal. Lannan should take it, and his $5 million, like a man and go prove them wrong. That's the best way to end up starting in the majors again. And he should have learned a lesson from l'affaire Riggleman last year: temper tantrums don't tend to work with Rizzo.

  97. Steady Eddie - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    After all the moaning and pearl-clutching of this somewhat tiresome soap opera, John is going to realize that his own self-interest dictates he'd better buckle down and pitch his best at 'Cuse if he wants to get back to MLB anywhere. His current trade value was low enough before today, and his agent had better tell him John's outburst today (irrelevant whether it's justified, we're talking business here) has further lowered that value to the point that the Nats haveno practical choice other than to keep him if they don't want to pay millions for the privilege if giving him away. And they are most certainly not going to do that, especially when John has just made the give-away cost a little steeper. If John ever wants to get out of Syracuse, it'll be on his pitching and proving his potential value to other teams by showing he knows his own self-interest canmanage his emotions (again, justified or not Is irrelevant). And that goes double if something happens and the Nats need him mid-season. It won't be about how he feels about pitching for the Nats, but for himself and his teammates.

  98. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:00 AM

    This is not a temper tantrum on Lannan's part. His email to the beat writers was no doubt in response to repeated texts and emails from them asking for his reaction to the demotion. How do we know that? Because it's their job to ask those questions. Lannan's only choices were to ignore those requests, which would lead to stories saying "John Lannan did not respond to repeated requests for comment", or to respond "No comment", which would lead to the same kind of "Lannan is sulking" stories, or to simply tell the truth. Which he did. He's not "demanding a trade." He simply states that he told Rizzo that a trade would be in the best interests of both him and the team (which it would), and until it happens he will be in Syracuse doing the job they're paying him to do in a professional manner, as he has been all along. End of story, no further comment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

  99. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:10 AM

    I hope you're right, Feel Wood, about how Lannan will go about his business in the next days and weeks.But he certainly gave a lot of people (including many beat writers) the impression that he was asking for a trade. And that most certainly does lower his trade value.

  100. sjm308 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:18 AM

    I am with Natslady and Sec 222 among others. How is emailing the beat reporters a "classy" move? This is professional sports people. Do you honestly think Lannan is the first guy to get sent to the minors? As hard as it is to realize, he is the property of the Washington Nationals and to earn his paycheck he needs to pitch where they tell him to pitch. He can be pissed, but he needs to take a breath and go about his job which is pitching and he is well paid to do that. He is still an asset and I don't care what he wants, we should not trade him unless its for something of value.It would be great for Rizzo to make a visit to try and smooth this over. Who is the manager of the Chiefs? He will also play a big part in this. I am guessing he has major league experience and can get Lannan to see what the big picture is. We have at least two arms that are fragile and no team uses just 5 or 6 pitchers. He should be back.One other thing, I read early on about how someone hopes he is not traded to an NL East team. Are you kidding me? You don't think Zimmerman and others would be jumping out of their shoes to hit against Lannan. People, he has done good things for us when we were struggling but we are not the same team anymore.

  101. Dawn - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:19 AM

    No shame in the Marlins losing their home-opener (been there, done that), Lowe is tough, Nats only won 1 out of 4 games against him last year. I for one liked seeing the Marlins fans come out, hopefully it will last for the whole season. Can never have enough baseball fans, unless their from Philly.

  102. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:24 AM

    This was mentioned as a headliner on Yahoo News as the "anti feel-good story" heading into the start of baseball this season. Another sloppy personnel move by another sports team that can treat its expendable pieces like chattel. I don't have a problem with John's letter to the writers. I do have a problem with Rizzo's unvarnished speech. "We have five guys who are better than John." That may be true, really remains to be seen, but he didn't have to sh&t on the guy in public. Rizzo needs a cork in the mouth a lot of times.Matrushka Doll

  103. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:25 AM

    Davey done Lannnan wrong saying he's the man and then dumping him to the minors? Sorry to break with the pack, but Davey's far from the genius the media and others play him up to be.

  104. Steady Eddie - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    Feel Wood, I generally agree with most of what you have to say, but whatever you want to call (or object to calling) what John said, and whether or not he was in some sense right or justified in doing it, is irrelevant to his own self-interest now. Right now he does not have any teams who really want to make him a part of their rosters, at least at a price the Nats will accept — and his asking for a trade isn't going to change that reality one whit. Unless something dramatic and unexpected happens to someone's starter, John has to make himself interesting to other teams by his pitching and deportment, because he only hurts himself if he doesn't, and the Nats have control all year. That's the end of story.

  105. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:30 AM

    Davey done Lannnan wrong saying he's the man and then dumping him to the minors. Sorry to break with the pack, but Davey's far from the genius the media and others play him up to be. And you'd think Rizzo would have some common sense in his comments. He shouldn't have bothered with Edwin.

  106. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:31 AM

    But he certainly gave a lot of people (including many beat writers) the impression that he was asking for a trade. And that most certainly does lower his trade value.His trade value is whatever some other team will give for him when Rizzo decides to make the trade. And just because Lannan wants a trade, that doesn't force Rizzo to make a trade now. He can do it on his own timetable, whenever he gets the return he wants. If there's no trade, Lannan remains a good insurance policy in case a starter gets hurt or for when Strasburg reaches his innings limit.When Milledge was sent down one week into the season in 2009, everyone was saying he absolutely had to be traded immediately or he'd lose all trade value. Rizzo held firm for almost three months in not trading Milledge, until he got the return value he wanted. The same thing will happen now with Lannan.

  107. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    Feel Wood, I generally agree with most of what you have to say, but whatever you want to call (or object to calling) what John said, and whether or not he was in some sense right or justified in doing it, is irrelevant to his own self-interest now. Right now he does not have any teams who really want to make him a part of their rosters, at least at a price the Nats will accept — and his asking for a trade isn't going to change that reality one whit. Unless something dramatic and unexpected happens to someone's starter, John has to make himself interesting to other teams by his pitching and deportment, because he only hurts himself if he doesn't, and the Nats have control all year. That's the end of story.Lannan says right in his statement that what you said is exactly what he's going to do, doesn't he? "This transaction will not change who I am or how I approach my business," Lannan wrote. "I will continue to prepare myself for the season and look forward to the opportunity to pitch for a major-league team in the near future. I appreciate the space that you have given me over the past 24 hours. This will be the last time that I make any public comments on yesterday's transaction or my future with the Nationals' organization. My focus from here on out will be on playing the game that I love and demonstrating the professionalism that I have exhibited throughout my career."

  108. Tom in AR - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    I like lannan and would have been happy to see him as our #5 this year, but I can't fault the team for going with Detwiler (not to mention this is Wang's spot when he gets back. Go dominate AAA and then I will lIsten to you gripe about being paid 5 million dollars to pitch every five days. If other teams wanted him Rizzo would have traded him by now.

  109. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:42 AM

    His trade value is whatever some other team will give for him when Rizzo decides to make the trade. Absolutely right. Which is why it wasn't a good (or "classy") move to respond to reporters' inquiries the way he did. It made for good copy on the eve of Opening Day, but can't have helped him achieve the result he seeks. My guess is that Lannan is a Syracuse Chief for a good while, and his next big league start will be in a Nats uniform because an injury to one of our top five starters (actually six, including Wang) is likely to happen before another team will offer enough to Rizzo to get him to make a deal.

  110. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:44 AM

    Lannan says right in his statement that what you said is exactly what he's going to do, doesn't he?Yup. It's the rest of the statement that's the problem.

  111. Feel Wood - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:55 AM

    Which is why it wasn't a good (or "classy") move to respond to reporters' inquiries the way he did.How exactly should he have responded to reporters' inquiries, then? He told the truth. Would he have been better off lying to them, or ducking the question, or issuing a no comment? I don't see how he would have been.And what's wrong with the truth, anyway? He does not say bad things about Rizzo or the organization, he simply says that he feels he is a major league pitcher and would like the opportunity to pitch for a major league team. What is not "classy" about that? Is he supposed to just go away with his tail between his legs because he dared to try to make the team and didn't?

  112. lesatcsc - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    I think we're all asking the wrong question. This isn't about Lannan and Detwiler, it's about Lannan and Jackson and what the 11+ million could have been spent on if they hadn't signed Jackson. Sure Jackson throws harder than Lannan, but is he more than twice as successful? He needs to be to be worthwhile. If Jackson pitches 200 innings to a 3.70 ERA, the Nats will have effectively thrown the money away because they could have gotten that out of Lannan for 5. I wonder if a better bat than Tracy, Nady or Bernadina could have been had for 11 million? I hope that Jackson wins 20 and strikes out 250, because otherwise this just looks like the Nats created a bad situation for themselves for very little to zero gain. Lannan probably has some friends in that room that may resent the Nats dumping a decent guy for a hired gun that may not be as good while simultaneously failing to address some other key concerns.

  113. Section 222 - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:29 AM

    @FeelWood, I know you're just arguing for the sake of arguing, and I'm going to bed, so I'm not going to answer your rhetorical question at length. If you are truly interested in how JL might have answered the questions in a way that wouldn't come off sounding like a spoiled brat who other GMs might think twice about trading for, scroll up. Plenty of commenters had some good suggestions. And no, he's not supposed to go away with his tail between his legs, he's supposed to be a professional, accept Rizzo's decision for now, and let his $5 million left arm do the talking instead of his emotions.

  114. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 4:33 AM

    Someone here said, "follow the money." Well, Amanda pointed this out in her article:"Lannan lost his arbitration case with the Nationals this offseason but will still earn $5 million this year, even if he's pitching in the minor leagues. By demoting him to the minor leagues, though, the Nationals stopped his service time clock and could thereby delay his free agency, which was scheduled to hit after the 2013 season." [italics mine]If this is true (and I'm not familiar enough with the new CBA–can't find it online–to know if it is) then Lannan might have a legit gripe. I still feel it was classless to put all this out in public on the day before Opening Day. Also, as has been pointed out, Lannan was the "Ace" (and we did call him that) of a terrible pitching staff, which enabled him to get the service time in the first place. If the Nats had had a better team, they would have used up Lannan's options earlier in his career as is more usual with a marginal player.Remember this? 37 healthy pitchers auditioning at Nats Spring training.Boz from February 2007http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/02/12/AR2007021201463.html?nav=emailpageI re-read Lannan's email, and I wonder who composed it, or if it was all him. And who gave him the email addresses of all the beat writers? I don't mean they are private, just that it takes a bit of effort to assemble them. Really and truly, this is why players have agents. Lannan has the same agent as RZimm, so it's not as if the guy's never met Rizzo, they huddled for months.Lannan wrote, "…I let Mike know that I believe a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term." Best solution? What was the problem?

  115. Nattydread - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:11 AM

    The final roster cut is a ripped sheet of paper. It can't be done cleanly. Every MLB team goes through this. The better the team, the more rough the rips. Like REM said: "Everybody hurts".Lannan needs to ask himself whether he wants to be a stashed back-up starter making $5M on a good team or a #4/5 starter on a bad team. Can't have it both ways. Remember Livo handing Rizzo a napkin with "$1M" written on it? Get over it everybody! Its time for "The Show".

  116. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 5:55 AM

    Nattydread said " Lannan needs to ask himself whether he wants to be a stashed back-up starter making $5M on a good team or a #4/5 starter on a bad team. Can't have it both ways. Remember Livo handing Rizzo a napkin with "$1M" written on it?"Yes and that is what the problem is but the difference is Livo was a free agent Lannan is not a free agent. The most important thing for John right now is to get his time in so he can become a free agent. Yes, John might not get paid $5 million a year and we could argue what that figure might be but in an open market I bet it would be greater than a million for a left handed starting pitcher. So because of the "rules" the Nationals own John and therefore he is not like Livo. Livo can decided for himself who he wants to play for John cannot. Baseball has an infamous past in this regard good team regularly stashed players keeping them from playing in the major leagues even though they had the talent to do so. Until John becomes a free agent baseball teams own him like a well paid slave. They get to decide where he plays in the majors or the minors or they get to trade him to any other team they want for what ever they want and that teams get to do the exact same thing until he becomes a free agent. I know that the casual fan does not care one bit about the well being of a player making 5 million dollars. Too bad for him he can cry all the way to the bank but a professional starting pitcher who has the ability to play at the major league level, something less than 200 people in the world could do might not be too happy about the situation. I know he should have asked for a lot less money. Not going to happen! The major league baseball players association the union that he belongs would have come down on him hard and it would have hurt his professional career too, also it can be argued that by having a higher salary he had a better chance of staying in the big leagues not the other way around.This is the business side of the sport and it is not the reason I follow baseball. Its a unfortunate situation and there are no easy answers. John is now looking out for what he believes is his best interest and I find nothing wrong with what he wrote and he did not lower his value because every baseball team knew exactly the situation the Nationals were in the moment they signed EJax.

  117. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    This could happen to John Lannan in the minors … its why he fears the 'Cuse …. 'WARE John Lannan!

  118. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 6:18 AM

    Hmmm according to Nats Enquirer perhaps its Lannan's new wife that's the problem?It doesn't add up. (Memo to Mike Rizzo: this isn't going to help with dealing Lannan to the Yankees. And what about those rumors of Lannan-Flores to the Yankees a few weeks ago just before Pettite unretired, which got so "real" Lannan had his wife relocate from Viera to the Tampa Grand Hyatt where apparently lots of the Yankees wives stay?)

  119. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    CWJ"How is this a fiasco? It's not like they demoted Zimmerman to AAA, or released Harper."No, it's not a fiasco in a baseball sense, but it is in a managerial sense. Lannen's demotion could have been handled any number of ways without publicly humiliating the guy. That was completely unnecessary. Look at all the comments here for a guy who was an average ML talent, and who was replaced by a guy with, arguably, a lot more talent. That kind of thing happens all the time. You do not tell a man he is "the guy" just a week or two before telling him, "Ha, ha, just kidding, we have 5 other guys who are better than you." Now, how much has Davey hurt his credibility with that team? Can they believe anything he says, about them? Sorry, but Davey and Rizzo handled this about as poorly as can be. Otherwise, we wouldn't even be talking about it.Instead, you tell him and everyone else from day 1 that the 5 spot in the rotation is an open competition, and may the best man win. How difficult is that? You tell him that he if he is sent down he will be back up whenever the need arises (SS sits, or CMW gets hurt, again, or EJAC does not work out). Any number of things could happen. They may need him back next week. Stuff happens. So you make him feel like he is still wanted and still a valuable member of the organization. You do not make him feel like he is sh*t that can be flushed down the toilet at the with the flick of the wrist. Alienating and humiliating the guy was completely unnecessary. Never mind the money or the merits (on the merits, they made the right decision, IMO), and, as far as the money, they are eating $5 mn to keep a guy parked in AAA after telling the whole world he was an established "major league" starter. Yeah, but the Nats' brass showed, once again, that they are bush league managers.The Riggs fiasco last year was similarly brought about by Rizzo's repeated refusal to talk to Riggleman about an extension. There was a guy who just wanted to talk, and Rizzo was too busy? Too busy to talk? To his own field mgr? WTF. No need to gratuitously antagonize a guy. If Rizzo planned on replacing him at the end of the season, so be it. He could have gone over the situation and treated Riggs with enough professionalism to avoid the most embarrassing episode between a field mgr and a GM I have ever seen. Just show the guy some respect. Riggs has been around the barn a few times, and I have very little doubt that he would have handled the news a lot more professionally than Rizzo handled the situation.I am not talking rocket science here, just common sense if not just common decency. Yeah, baseball is a business. So are a lot of other businesses, and like all of them, the success of the business depends on the performance and morale of the employees as much as, if not more, than the decisions of management.Both the Riggs and Lannen fiascos were completely unforced errors, and I say that as an admirer of Rizzo's ability to completely remake that team in only 3 years, and of Davey's proven abilities as a field mgr.I am not going to criticize Lannen for speaking out. It is his job to pitch, not to manage personnel, or suck up to management. When somebody is kicking you in the balls, you either lie there and take it, or kick back. No, Lannen is not a great talent, and Rizzo is not a competent manager of his own people. The main difference is that Lannen only wins or loses games, while Rizzo defines how professionally, or incompetently, the business is managed. He gets an "F" for managing his most valuable resource, regardless of his other talents, which are considerable.Laddie_Blah_Blah

  120. Joe Seamhead - Apr 5, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Good grief! All of you saying that Mike Rizzo sucks as a GM. Give me a break.I'm not even going to argue with you because the fact is three years ago this was a pretty much unwatchable team and now we a very good team whose future looks as bright as any team in MLB. I've stuck up for John Lannan on this board and thought he has been under appreciated, but in the end he flat out got beat out by Detweiler. It's a cold business sometimes.I don't blame John for being upset, but he not only got beat out, but the team still held an option on him that they didn't have on Wang, or Detweiler. I also am not surprised that he requested a trade,but, sorry pal, we don't have to grant you your request. Unless we can get a fair return, he stays and for 5 million he has to suck it up and accept it.

  121. Will - Apr 5, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    Laddie_Blah_Blah, you make some good points about how the Nats could have handled this better, to which I certainly agree. If there was any doubt as to Lannan being demoted, they should have been more upfront about it being a possibility. This isn't to say they weren't intentionally lying to Lannan the whole time, but they should have let Lannan see it coming, instead of telling him in the 3rd inning two days before Opening Day. I think they handled the case with Livan quite well. They never made any indication that Livan had much of a future with the club. However, Livan was much more of a professional about it than Lannan has been. He accepted his fate and moved on.With that said I don't understand those who disapprove of Rizzo demoting Lannan. Should he construct a roster based on trying to avoid hurting people's feelings? He's putting together a roster with the 25 best players. It's too bad that Lannan happens to be #26. But who cares- he's making a boatload of money for a few not-so-fun months. It's just a minor blip in his career. He's a big boy, and should be able to get over it.

  122. baseballswami - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

    Hey, everyone- wake up! It's opening day!!!!! Now repeat after me – no matter what happens today, it's a marathon, not a sprint. So excited!

  123. FS - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    No one is arguing that Rizzo is not a good GM. I mean he has made some boneheaded moves, but he has vastly improved the club since he took over. But this is the second incident in two seasons where he could have been more open to Lannan about his future. He is basically being treated the same way as Riggs. Riggs was a placeholder and everyone knew it. Lannan was never considered part of Nationals' future either. Rizzo should have handled both situations differently.Anyways, I hope for Lannan that he can be traded and we get something nice in return.

  124. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    Hey FS… were they hiding the fact that he could be optioned? Were they supposed to say "hey John, you know we could always option you if you aren't the best option? Give me a break people….the business side of baseball is not personal. TI like John Lannan, personally… and I hope he overcomes his grief at making $5 Mil while in Syracuse.But the fact remains, it is in the teams best interest to keep him as insurance until someone offers the Nats equal value…… not less…. just equal.Anyway, at 2:20 PM EST this all becomes moot until a need arises due to injury or ineffectiveness.

  125. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:38 AM

    If Lannan's feelings were hurt by not being one of the top 5 on the Nats, how does he feel now that Rizzo called twenty teams and couldn't get a taker? But I do agree on Davey–watch out, Desi, Espy, and anyone else who is "my guy."

  126. D'Gourds - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    I like John. But am I alone in thinking it's just his tough luck that he'll have to "suffer" for a while in the minors? He's going to make 5 mil this year for crying out loud! We all deal with this type of stuff in our jobs. Except, of course, the $5 mil part. There isn't an organization in baseball that he would have had the chance to pitch as much for and been the #1 starter. That's what got him the $5 mil. If the Nats feel it's worth $5 mil to keep him in the minors as insurance against an injury to a starter, then they should just keep him there. If not, they should just give him away and let someone else pay him.

  127. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Optioning Lannan was dicussed endlessly by us amateurs. It was no secret. I hope they do what they did with Balester, look around and find the rough equivalent and swap. The problem is the $5million salary, but maybe they can get creative with a PTBNL. Just have to twiddle my fingers for a few hours, a few more hours…

  128. ehay2k - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    If Lannan had responded to the multiple emails and text that he received from the beat writers buy simply saying, " I was quite surprised to be told the day before opening day, and in the dugout, because I had been told quite recently that I was the number 5 starter. Like any player here I believe I belong in the big leagues. I intend to prove that while pitching in Syracuse." That pokes Rizzo and Davey in their respective eyes for the way this was handled, and at the same time shows he is a pro.His agent gets paid to write that stuff. Maybe he needs a new one.

  129. natsfan1a - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Feel Wood's take makes sense to me. Had the team told him before the game, and announced it then as opposed to the news leaking out during the game, perhaps John could have addressed the reporters' questions in person. Just a thought.Feel Wood said… This is not a temper tantrum on Lannan's part. His email to the beat writers was no doubt in response to repeated texts and emails from them asking for his reaction to the demotion. How do we know that? Because it's their job to ask those questions. Lannan's only choices were to ignore those requests, which would lead to stories saying "John Lannan did not respond to repeated requests for comment", or to respond "No comment", which would lead to the same kind of "Lannan is sulking" stories, or to simply tell the truth. Which he did. He's not "demanding a trade." He simply states that he told Rizzo that a trade would be in the best interests of both him and the team (which it would), and until it happens he will be in Syracuse doing the job they're paying him to do in a professional manner, as he has been all along. End of story, no further comment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that at all. April 04, 2012 11:00 PM

  130. 320R2S15 - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    I really like Johnny, he did alot for the Nationals when they were beyond desprate. As someone else has already said though, it was a benefit for both.I'm the first to bash the Lerners, but I do not think they care about the 5Mil, I also don't think they have anything to do with the decision to ice Johnny down in the bushes.I wish the trade request had not happened. Emotion took over and Johnny made a bad decision. Had he taken the money and worked on being ready for the opportunity that will surely come, he would have been much better off.MLB is deffinately a business, but the business end of it is sometimes painful. No one really screwed up here, not Rizzo, Davy, the Lerners or Johnny, but it is a shame things worked out the way they did.

  131. Richard - Apr 5, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I feel bad for John. He's been a warrior. And, again, I don't understand $11M for a year of so-far-less-than-stellar Jackson, unless its an arrangement with Boras that'll mean somethin' down the road. But we seen Rizzo's man love for Jackson in the summer of 2010, haven't we, re Dunn for Jackson trade talk? And what's up with similar love for Wang, a guy they've handled with TLC for more than two years. For what? But no love for John? … On the other hand, MLB ain't the boys scouts. The players demand lots of money. $5M is a lot to play baseball for the summer. Rizzo's job is on the line, too. I guess John's hurtin', understandably. And yet, for $5M don't the Nats have a right to ask John is suck it up and help out this year where they need him? Depart next year if you want to, if there's hard feelings.

  132. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    Rizzo's personnel management skills are just not good. He makes situations harder than they need to be. This club had better win very soon, because stuff like this ends up being woven into the fabric of what gets a GM fired.

  133. fpcsteve - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    I hope Lannan is traded to an NL team so the argument over the Nats' opinion of his pitching ability can be settled on the field. Nats vs. Lannan a half a dozen times. Under the best circumstances that would make for some interesting, angst-driven baseball.

  134. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    This is a front office failure and should be an embarrassment. This was entirely predictable and an awful way to treat the guy who was pretty much the only quality guy you had for years.A lot of things come down to respect in this game and Lannan was disrespected. This is a black mark on the Nats and don't think other clubs and players won't be talking about this. The Nats rep took a hit with this move. And they lost a good pitcher whether he stays or goes, he won't be the same. Puts a cloud over my opening day.

  135. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:42 PM

    You know, I keep reading this argument that Rizzo's / the front office's handling of this or that personnel matter (well actually, Riggleman's and Lannan's) is putting the Nats in a bad light, that the rest of the league is paying attention, that other clubs and players will be "talking about this," etc.I just don't buy it. Look at the national baseball media today. Nobody's talking about John Lannan's being sent down. I don't think anybody besides us Lannan fans and observers are even thinking about this very much.What other clubs and players will pay attention to is the success of the Nats on the field. This was a move–albeit perhaps clumsily handled–designed to enhance the Nats' success on the field. That's what will matter over the course of the season.I'll be other clubs and players are paying attention to things like Ryan Zimmerman's being signed long-term, to Strasburg's return from TJ, to Harper's success at center field, to the Nats dominant rotation. The demotion of a guy who got beaten out by a teammate in spring training? Not so much.

  136. Dave - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    That is, "I'll bet other clubs and players…"Stupid non-auto-correcting keyboard hands…

  137. Anonymous - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    Nicely said, Anon 9:31. It also follows last season's bad handling of Riggleman and Rizzo firing Randy St. Claire over the phone in 2009.

  138. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:51 PM

    This action shows how far the Nats have come in providing ML quality decision making that projects a total winning attitude.Dave is correct. One national article on Yahoo claiming this as an embarassing situation recieved over 750 responses 99% of which sided with the Nats decision.Keep up the great work Rizzo.

  139. DFL - Apr 5, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    This is a Rizzo-Johnson foul up. Rizzo went out and paid $ 11 million for a lifetime 4.50 ERA starter and has trashed a $ 5 million pitcher with a 4.00 lifetime ERA. Why? Because one throws hard and the other doesn't. Pretty stupid reasoning.The Nats would be better off if they didn't sign either Jackson or Wang and went with Detwiler and Lannan as 4 and 5 for the time being and sign Oswalt in June when his kids are out of school.

  140. NatsLady - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:14 PM

    There is no nice way to send a guy to the minors. Period. You can sugarcoat it all you want, but there ain't. Lannan isn't going to get Rizzo to change his mind or force a trade by setting himself up against him (see Riggleman, Jim). Rizzo's a tough guy and I like that. Davey should not run his mouth so much, but we're gonna have to live with that.Jackson will be OK, and if he's not, we can Marquis him and bring Lannan back up. Wang will be great. I just hope Ross takes advantage of this chance.

  141. fpcsteve - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:21 PM

    Postulate 1: You can never have enough pitching.Postulate 2: Lannan isn't good enough; trade him.How do those two premises work? If Lannan isn't good enough now, how will he be adequate, even necessary, later this season?

  142. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    fpcsteve….Lannan will be good enough when 2 of the other 6 are no longer able to be in the rotation (with Wang/Detwiler being 5/6).

  143. 320R2S15 - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    Face Johnny six times a year? That kinda reminds me of how good it was to face Joe Blanton that much.

  144. fpcsteve - Apr 5, 2012 at 2:57 PM

    Thanks, NatsJack. I agree with you on both Wang and Detwiler. I understand the possibility as it regards Wang. What is your take on Detwiler?

  145. blovy8 - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    I'm a Lannan fan, mostly because he gets a lot more out of the little he has than a guy with much better stuff like Jackson, when he screws up, he doesn't hide, when he's good, he doesn't gloat. This is just the usual crap teams do to players. He has an option left so he goes. The team gets to say what they want in the media, but when the player tries to clear the air so the story moves on, he's called a whiner, greedy, ungrateful, a malcontent, etc. It's a business for the players too. This is how he makes his living. 750 innings that count are discarded for two guys who "might" be better but can't stay healthy because he can be sent to the minors. The team agreed to pay him that money, he's agreeing to pitch, and he's worth that 5 million in the market. Arizona paid Saunders a simliar amount, and at least Lannan is younger with some upside left. The idea that he's worth more to them pitching 30 major league innings and 150 minor league innings than a fair trade is silly. That's why he's right about their needing to trade him. They are valuing stuff more than results, and are screwing up his chances to earn his pay and keep his value next year and remain a visible major league pitcher.

  146. Big Cat - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:21 PM

    DFL……you are so right. One guy throws harder than the other. One guy is sexy, the other ain't. Unfortunately, that is how it works these days. The radar gun rules. Plenty of tremendous highschool "pitchers" won't get a sniff of college ball cause the radar gun says they are not any good. The radar gun doesn't show ball movement and the big thing it doesn't show is guts and heart. If they trade Lannan to a contender, he will win 12-15 games. I have never been a Detwiler fan. I think he was rushed through the minors cause he was a number 1 draft pick. Yes, he looks good, has a lively fastball etc. but he always loses focus and gets the ball up and right down the middle and it ends up in the seats

  147. NatsJack in Florida - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:30 PM

    On Detwiler…….he does look like he's bulked up a little over the past seasons. He looked great in ST but never got the chance to go through a line up more than twice.I've always liked his stuff but have issues with his command and stamina. He's certainly more experienced. This should be his best opportunity to date to shine. For me when comparing him to Lannan it's "I prefer the devil that I don't than the one I do".

  148. Binx Bolling - Apr 5, 2012 at 3:38 PM

    Sometimes fans think that players are interchangeable stat-robots and not human beings. Lannan is a human being and being sent to the minors is a blow to his ego and has soured his relations with Rizzo, Johnson and the club. Think of the situation as a marriage. If you found out that your spouse cheated on you, what would you think? Lannan's at this situation right now with regards to the Nats.On another topic, Lannan's trade value has now declined. His value was higher three days ago when he was fifth starter than now as a demoted starter. And I'm willing to bet that Lannan won't pitch all so good in Syracuse. Part of it is been-there-done-that and part of it is ennui.The Nats better hope that some team loses a starting pitcher and becomes desperate. Perhaps we can get a prospect for Lannan. Since the Nats have a recent relationship with the A's, wouldn't it be nice to trade Lannan for Cowgill.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB
x-WASHINGTON 91 64 --
ATLANTA 76 80 15.5
NEW YORK 76 80 15.5
MIAMI 74 81 17.0
PHILADELPHIA 71 85 20.5
x-Clinched NL East title
Through Monday's games

NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS

W L GB WCGB
x-WASHINGTON (4) 91 64 --
y-LOS ANGELES 89 67 2.5
y-ST. LOUIS 88 69 4.0
-------------------------
PITTSBURGH 85 71 +0.5
SAN FRANCISCO 84 71 --
MILWAUKEE 80 76 4.5
x-Clinched division title
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Monday's early games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
(End of regular season)
MON: OFF
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

Follow us on Twitter