NL East Notes: Lannan, Johnson, Hamels

With Jonathon Niese closing in on a contract extension with the Mets, let's look at some other news from around the NL East…

  • The Nationals announced they were optioning John Lannan to the minors, (a move first reported by Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post), which will make Ross Detwiler the club's fifth starter.  In a separate item, Kilgore examines the move and concludes "the Nationals quite clearly put financial interest last and what they believed to be the best baseball decision first."
  • The move is sure to spur on more rumors that the Nationals could trade Lannan, though GM Mike Rizzo told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington) that Detwiler won the job and that Lannan has drawn only "mild interest" on the trade market.'s Bill Ladson reports that the Nats were asking a high price for Lannan, and other teams weren't willing to part with a starting position player in exchange for the southpaw.  (Both links are to Twitter.)
  • Josh Johnson hasn't given any thought to how Matt Cain's extension with the Giants may impact any possible new deal between himself and the Marlins, reports's Joe Frisaro.  Johnson signed a four-year, $39MM extension with Miami that runs through the 2013 season.  Even if Johnson pitches up to form over the next two seasons, you'd have to figure that his injury history will limit the size and value of a contract extension. 
  • The Phillies offered Cole Hamels an extension worth "Jered Weaver money" (five years, $85MM) late last season, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.  Hamels now has a strong case for an extension worth at least as much as Cain's deal, Heyman notes.  The Giants' initial offer to Cain, Heyman says, was reportedly worth less than $65MM.
  • From earlier today, Chad Durbin switched NL East teams, signing with the Braves after being released by the Nationals.

20 Responses to NL East Notes: Lannan, Johnson, Hamels Leave a Reply

  1. Bob 3 years ago

    this is the site that argued Lannan should sign an extension. 

  2. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Lannan was warming up in the BP today in the game vs Boston, so he saw the hand writing on the wall before he got the old flush-a-roo news.

    I really have a hard time understanding what’s going on with Rizzo.. That 5m contract.. It’s a guaranteed deal then? Majors or minors? he STILL wants a starting positional player for him? It’s just flabbergasting here and teams at this time of the year are cutting people just like him for major league minimum, not 5m contracts, plus a starting player, much less a warm body.


    • Natsfan89 3 years ago

      I realize you have an incredibly low opinion of Lannan, but if you look at his ERA+ he’s a perfectly average MLB starting pitcher. The fact that he’s a lefty and a groundball pitcher increases his value. He got sent down because A. He had an option and B. Detwiler is also a lefty and has better stuff.

      Also, Rizzo has said he’s not actively shopping Lannan. I’m not normally inclined to believe what most GMs say, but Rizzo said over and over again that they weren’t going after Fielder and a few weeks after the deal we find out the Nationals weren’t finalists and Fielder said he wasn’t even sure the Nationals made an offer at all.

      • Trout Almonte 3 years ago

        Look at his peripherals.  Look at his arsenal.  He’s a perfectly below-average MLB starting pitcher.  Being a lefty and Nats having shaky defense up the middle makes it worse.

        • comish4lif 3 years ago

          You can look at his numbers and peripherals all you want.

          But at some point, when he’s putting up 30+ starts with an ERA under 4.00, you have to see he’s a valuable pitcher – not a top of the rotation stud, but a valuable league-avaerage pitcher. Yes, I ignored 2010 when he was injured.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             “You can look at his numbers and peripherals all you want”

            I guess that is supposed to explain why someone with worse peripherals (Jeremy Guthrie) gets in a trade someone exactly like Lannon in a trade (Jason Hammel) who is making 2m a season less than Lannon, is on a 2 year deal and they got a potential close, or setup guy who throws upper 90’s in Matty Lindstrom? Guthrie becomes a FA after the season also.

            Not to mention.. The Orioles didn’t have any trouble moving Guthrie’s 8m+ salary.. Then it couldn’t be the fact he actually has really good off speed stuff to bolster his low-mid 90’s FB, as compared to throwing nothing but rubbish could it?

            That is why the Nat’s are having difficulty moving Lannon and many here have tried to explain it countless time.. He is a back end at best SP on a 2nd division team, or 1st division in a “break glass” type scenario. Washington may keep him, but they would rather not, his arsenal is what the majority of the Twins rotation is made up of and we see how well theirs does.

      • Andy225 3 years ago

        Fact, The Nationals never made an offer to Fielder. You listen to too many Trade Rumors!

  3. Jacob Viets 3 years ago

     John Lannan: Sad story, once an opening day starter; now back in the minors.
    Josh Johnson: Marlins are going to have to cough up BIG time to sign him.
    Cole Hamels: Good job waiting that extra year, you’ll be getting HUGE money now. Even if it’s not from the Phillies
    Chad Durbin: Anybody know why the Braves keep signing Pitchers?

    • Phillies_Aces35 3 years ago

      John Lannan was the opening day starter for some REALLY bad Nationals teams… not because of his talent level but because everybody around him was pretty bad.

      • Jacob Viets 3 years ago

         I know… but I still feel bad about it.

      • WolandJR 3 years ago

        Agreed. Odalis Perez also started opening day for them once… As did John Patterson.

        • hectorcaro 3 years ago

          Well, John Patterson actually was top 10 in the NL in many categories that year.  He just got hurt and wasn’t mentally strong to come back.  Lannan has been more durable but hasn’t had a season close to that.  Detwiler also deserves his chance like Lannan had.  I think he’ll be able to beat the Phillies better than 1-12 too.

          • NatsTown 3 years ago

             Don’t knock the poor guy’s mentality when he was ravaged by injuries that caused him to retire before 30

  4. Rod Porter 3 years ago

    It is however kind of hard to feel bad for a guy making 5 million a year to pitch against inferior competiton.That said if he’s not traded by the end of April he’ll be back in the big leagues at some point due to pitching restrictions and injuries.

    • Brian McKeever 3 years ago

      Yep–Lannan was rushed to the Majors and was able to accumulate enough service time to be arbitration eligible at a young age only because the Nats were so bad when he was coming up.  I’m not a Lannan-basher, but they could pay me five million to pitch at Syracuse and I wouldn’t complain.

  5. LUWahooNatFan 3 years ago

    Very happy that Detwiler got the 5th spot over Lannan, despite Lannan having the bigger contract.. Nationals fans know all too well about his often Houdini acts and constant 5 inning starts to maintain an ERA not indicative of how good of a pitcher he actually is.. I imagine Gorzo and Stammen will fill the LR roles in the bullpen now.

  6. Jeff 3 years ago

    Chad Durbin just makes no sense as a signing after Livan. 

    You don’t need 2 garbage relievers, especially when you also have Medlen/C-Mart who can get 2-3 innings if needed.

  7. Adam Kilgore’s out there with that statement. The Nats had no option left for Detwiler and they have to pay Lannan $5M no matter where he plays. The move for Lannan to be in Cuse might be a tell that Nats management is serious about winning, but it has nothing to do with placing financial interest last. Is potentially losing Detiwler on wiavers a financially wise decision? 

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