The Nationals did not speak to the Cubs about acquiring center fielder Marlon Byrd in exchange for left-hander John Lannan, a highly placed Nats source tells Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The Nats are apparently content to wait out prized prospect Bryce Harper's arrival to the Majors rather than make a trade.
Meanwhile, the Nats are not actively shopping the recently demoted Lannan, reports Sullivan, nor are the Cubs interested in acquiring him and his $5MM salary.
Byrd, for his part, says he would welcome the opportunity to rejoin the Nats -- whether that be via in-season trade or offseason signing -- according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com. Byrd, 34, played for the Nats in 2005-06. He's slated to hit free agency this offseason after signing a three-year pact with the Cubs prior to the 2010 campaign.
Lannan, 27, was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse toward the end of Spring Training and was not pleased about it, informing reporters via email that he'd requested to be traded.
Harper, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2010, was under consideration to make the big league club out of Spring Training but was sent down to refine his hitting and work on his defense in center field. It'll be interesting to see whether the Nats, who are expected to be in the Wild Card(s) chase, are pleased enough with his progress to call him up, or if they eventually opt for outside help.