Add Washington to the list of clubs vying for the services of free-agent starter John Lackey. Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the Nats are interested in Lackey for the obvious boost he would provide to their National League-worst 5.00 team ERA, but also to serve as a mentor for their young starting corps of Stephen Strasburg, Ross Detwiler and John Lannan.
If nothing else, Washington's pursuit of Lackey is another sign to the rest of baseball (and to other prospective free agents) that the Nats aren't willing to stand pat after posting the worst record in the majors in each of the last two seasons. The Nationals made a strong push for Mark Teixeira last winter before signing Adam Dunn to a two-year/$20MM deal in February. Bringing Lackey into the fold might also help sell some tickets in Washington, as attendance at Nationals Park dropped by over 500K from 2008 to 2009.
Ladson also said that, contrary to a previous report, Washington isn't interested in signing Adam Everett. The defensive specialist's .648 career OPS is apparently the big turn-off for the club, who would prefer to sign someone with more pop if they decide to sign a shortstop at all.