Cubs Interested In John Lannan

The Cubs inquired about John Lannan this week, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. The Cubs had already talked to the Nationals about Lannan and another left-hander: former Cubs pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. Marlon Byrd came up in discussions between the two teams, Wittenmyer reports.

Lannan requested a trade after being optioned to the minor leagues earlier this week. GM Mike Rizzo said there's "mild" interest in the 27-year-old, but manager Davey Johnson said the Nationals are "not trading him."

Lannan posted a 3.70 ERA with 5.2 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9 in 184 2/3 innings last year. He’ll earn $5MM in 2012 and will remain under team control in 2013 (he currently projects as a non-tender candidate, however).


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32 Comments on "Cubs Interested In John Lannan"


3 years 4 months ago

Nats could use Byrdman… obviously Lannan is not in the mix.  Straight swap makes sense for the nats. 

3 years 4 months ago

Involving Byrd in this discussion doesn’t make any sense to me.  Why would Theo trade a somewhat valuable starting CF for a #5 starter that couldn’t even make the Nationals rotation?  Seems like Washington shouldn’t be getting more than a PTBNL for him.  Career 4.7 k/9, 4.61 FIP.  Something tells me the Cubs would be better off with their 3 or 4 barely good enough #5 starters as it is, let alone trading one of their more valuable pieces for another Maholm/Volstad/T. Wood/R. Wells/etc.

Leftover_stew
3 years 4 months ago

 Agreed.  We don’t need another 5 starter, we already can’t fit all the ones we have in the lineup.

WolandJR
3 years 4 months ago

Lannan not making the Nats rotation says more about the talent they have 1-4 than it does about Lannan.

3 years 4 months ago

That’s probably true.  I think the right choice was made between Lannan and Detwiler.  That still doesn’t mean he’s any better than The Cub’s back of the rotation options.  Certainly not for the price tag of Byrd.  Losing Byrd may clear up a starting position for Brett Jackson, and might clear some payroll in the mean time.  But if that’s the goal, then go get some relief help for him instead.

Goat_Rider
3 years 4 months ago

I think it is interesting people have forgetten about Wang.  I think the battle between Det and Lanaan is not truly for #5, but for the left-handed long relief/spot starter. 

rbh12
3 years 4 months ago

“that couldn’t even make the Nationals rotation?”
Interesting phrasing. Do you mean that if the player doesn’t make the Nats then the player isn’t good enough for the Cubs?

I don’t think there is much of a question that the Nats’ rotation is better than the Cubs’. However, I agree that it doesn’t mean that you need Lannan. I like Lannan and he is better than his peripherals, but Rizzo has a habit of asking for the moon and Theo is no fool.

My guess is Rizzo asked for Byrd and Theo said no…

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 Byrd’s contract will be hard to move also, though he is a decent CF. I agree he is a good player and worth more than Lannan (by far) and if Epstein chooses to hang onto him until around the 7/31 deadline? He at least will find suitors aplenty, probably more than willing by then to pay the remaining 3m left on his contract and have a difficult time seeing that with Lannan and the approximately 2.5m that would be remaining on his, if they choose to hang onto him that long with his already making noise about wanting out of his situation.

Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 4 months ago

It doesn’t sound like Rizzo to ask for a 34 year old CF.  I’d guess he probably asked for someone like Matt Szczur or Junior Lake/Javier Baez and THAT’S what Theo said no to, offering Byrd instead.

jb226
3 years 4 months ago

If he made that ridiculous a trade offer, Theo would have hung up, not counter-offered.

Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 4 months ago

If the Cubs really wanted to trade for him, why would it make logical sense to hang up the phone on the team that has a player that you want?  Rizzo probably asked for the moon and Theo said, “Oh, well Szczur plays OF, we’d be willing to part with Byrd if it’s a CF that you’re interested in,” or something along those lines.  Negotiation: I learns it.

jdubtrey
3 years 4 months ago

The problem is, by optioning Lannan, and reducing is value this season, it becomes highly likely that he’s non-tendered to get out from under a a nice sized arbitration award for next year.

Byrd for Lannan makes some sense when looking at what the Nats needs are at the moment and where his value is likely to go between now and July 31.

Besides, there’s no way a rebuilding team would trade a high ceiling prospect for a #5 starter.

Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 4 months ago

Channeling my inner-Sandra Day O’Connor, I agree in part and disagree in part.  I agree that doing this has lowered Lannan’s value, though I think it wasn’t that high to begin with.  Non-tendering is a possibility, however Wang and Jackson are only on one-year deals, so if they don’t pan out, then maybe the Nats decide to not make that move.  

As for the Byrd decision, I would seriously be shocked if they made that move, and that’s probably the biggest understatement I’ve ever made.  Rizzo has yet to trade for any player over the age of 30, let alone 34, and a former Nat at that.  I agree that teams would be wary in trading high-ceiling prospects for Lannan, and I certainly understand that.  However, there is desperation and idiocy everywhere in professional sports and maybe some team will decide to take a shot on him.  If not, the Nats have a pretty good insurance plan.

Kevin Swords
3 years 4 months ago

The Cubs would have an extra year of control with Lannan, and they have been open to dealing Byrd.  Seems logical.  Teams are always searching for additional pitching depth.  The Nationals are looking for outfield depth (specifically in CF), and their salaries are relatively in line with one another.  Again, neither has much trade value. 

3 years 4 months ago

 Brett Jackson

3 years 4 months ago

1. Byrd is a FA after 2012
2. Brett Jackson is ready
3. ENOUGH SAID!

3 years 4 months ago

What we need is a setup man and a closer who can throw strikes…..Wood and Marmol’s act has grown tiresome.

garylanglais
3 years 4 months ago

Interesting Cubs would be interested.  If they make this trade does that mean Samardzija would go to the bullpen? Cant see Volstad or Maholm leaving the rotation.  Samardzija is also out of options so he’s staying on the active roster.

Also, what’s this say about Randy Wells? He’s essentially in the same position Lannan is in (former MLB starter recently demoted, insurance in case one of the SPs goes down). If this trade happened, wouldn’t be surprised if Wells demanded a trade himself as this would push him further away from the active roster.  Not saying he would actually be traded but he surely wouldn’t be pleased.

One reason why this trade could happen? Theo loves, loves, loves SP depth. He routinely talked about it during his time with the Red Sox. He isn’t comfortable with that depth unless he has 9-10 major league ready options. And he certainly remembers getting burned by the lack of SP depth last year with the Red Sox.

LUWahooNatFan
3 years 4 months ago

After the Nationals are finished sweeping the Cubbies I’m sure they’d be willing for some kind of Lannan-Byrd swap as they’re leaving town

Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t want him.  He’s 34 years old.  I’d rather have prospects. Baez, Szczur, or Lake would be nice. But there’s no way in hell the Cubs would part with those guys.

FS54
3 years 4 months ago

Castro or no deal.

3 years 4 months ago

If they make this trade, it might signal a future trade of Garza rather than working out a contract with him.

imachainsaw
3 years 4 months ago

I don’t see that scenario, I mean you can’t reasonably compare Lannan’s and Garza’s value. I think if they’re gonna trade Garza, they’d do it regardless of whether or not they somehow acquire Lannan.

John Stefan
3 years 4 months ago

Even if Rizzo ate all of Lannan’s $5.5 MM 2012 salary, I don’t see how he makes sense for the Cubs (or for any team for that matter)  Lannan’s walk rate of 3.7/9 was a career high in 2011.  His career rates of a 1.43 WHIP, 4.7K/9 and .9HR/9 combine to form a combustible situation if allowed to pitch in the dimensions of tiny Wrigley Field. 

Randy Wells, who’s currently in AAA Iowa for the Cubs has a career WHIP of 1.35, 2.8BB/9, 6.0K/9, and a 1.0HR/9. 

Lannan also benefited form pitching in the large confines of RFK & Nationals Park for much of his career, while Wells has toiled in Wrigley during his tenure in MLB. 

The Cubs would be better off giving away baseballs to the first 5000 fans as a promotion, than to acquire Lannan and his multi-million dollar salary to serve up baeballs to the fans in the outfield bleachers!

Natsfan89
3 years 4 months ago

John lannan pitched a grand total of 6 games in RFK.

John Stefan
3 years 4 months ago

Corrected, but the point is a FB pitcher like Lannan would be a disatster in Wrigley, as his HR/9 indicates

3 years 4 months ago

There might be another team involved here.

Giraffe Monsoon
3 years 4 months ago

John Lannan has no neck. Coming from me that’s not saying much, but they can officially take Walt ‘No Neck’ Williams’s old nickname and give it to Lannan.

jed_hoyer
3 years 4 months ago

byrd for lannan/gorzalanny

WolandJR
3 years 4 months ago

$5 million price tag for a #5 starter is hard to swallow for a lot of teams. So while Lannan is good, the comparative advantage goes to the prospect or retread that is making the major league minimum.

randomkeys
3 years 4 months ago

Yeah, but $2 million isn’t so hard to swallow, not for a guy like Lannan.

If the Nats don’t have any interest in actually using Lannan in the majors, then they’re eating the $5MM anyway. They’d be better off sending Lannan and $3MM to the Cubs (or anyone), maybe getting a low-level prospect or two. They’d save money, another team gets a #5 at a reasonable price, Lannan gets to pitch in the majors where he belongs — win, win.

Alexander_Brovechkin
3 years 4 months ago

That’s not a win for the Nationals.  Right now, they have 7 solid pitchers, any of whom can start.  Why trade one for several prospects who probably won’t make it to the bigs and eat salary at the same time?  The only way it’d be a win is if they were trying to save cash, but it’s not like they can’t afford it.  The Lerners are among the richest owners in baseball and are paying Overpaid Jesus an exorbitant amount of money.