Nationals Notes: Lannan, Strasburg, Harper

Here's the latest out of Washington…

  • Despite Chien-Ming Wang's hamstring injury, the Nationals would still consider trading John Lannan, a source tells MLB.com's Bill Ladson.  The team "is not going to give Lannan away," however.  The Red Sox and Tigers have been linked to Lannan, though trade speculation about the southpaw has quieted in the wake of Wang's injury.  If Lannan is dealt, however, Washington still has Ross Detwiler to act as the fifth starter or as rotation depth if Wang is healthy.
  • Stephen Strasburg is on a 160-inning cap this season, and Fangraphs' Paul Swydan looks at how the Nats can try can manage Strasburg's starts throughout a possible pennant race.
  • If the Nationals leave Bryce Harper in the minors through July 1 and prevent him from obtaining Super Two status, ESPN's Dave Cameron (Insider subscription required) calculates the team could save as much as $14MM in future salary for the former #1 overall draft pick.
  • GM Mike Rizzo tells ESPN's Jayson Stark that service time was "a piece of the equation" related to sending Harper to Triple-A but the move was made to help Harper's development.  Rizzo pointed out that the Nationals aren't afraid to call up a young star if they need him, such as when Drew Storen was put in line to be a Super Two when he was called up in 2010, though Rizzo admitted Harper's and Storen's situations are quite different.
  • In a separate piece from Stark, he talks to a scout who feels Harper should've started the season at Double-A, not Triple-A.  "To be honest with you, if they sent him to Double-A, I actually think he'd be challenged there," said the scout.  "Triple-A is filled with guys who have been in the big leagues and know how to pitch….So at this stage, it's not a slam dunk he'll go to Triple-A and tear it up. It'll be interesting to see how he does."

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