John Lannan Rumors

Phillies Notes: Manuel, Rollins, Lannan, Halladay

In an interview with CSNPhilly.com's Leslie Gudel, outgoing Phillies manager Charlie Manuel spoke frankly about the talent he was given to work with over the last two seasons. Asked whether he had the pieces to win over 2012-13, Manuel left no question of his feelings: "No. I can straight-face tell you that." He says he "always figured we'd add the pieces and things like that," as the team had in years past. "They always went out and they always got pieces and they always put them on our team and gave us a good opportunity to win. They put us in a good position to win and it was up to us to do that." More out of Philly …

  • Starter Roy Halladay says that, while he respects Manuel, a change was needed. As Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports, Halladay thinks that interim manager Ryne Sandberg will "bring back a little more of the Philly baseball style than we've had the last couple of years." According to the veteran righty, "We haven't had that whole team effort, that whole team hustle. … Guys being at places on time; being on the field on time; taking ground balls; taking extra BP. All of those little things that nobody thinks makes a difference."
  • Indeed, Sandberg has already announced his presence by calling out veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins, Gelb reports. "Is he stubborn or [has he] created habits that are hard to change?" queried Sandberg. "I've seen him practice. And what he practices, he takes into the game. I believe there is some tweaking there as far as practice habits and what he practices."
  • Meanwhile, Halladay himself took the hill for an important rehab start tonight. Reviews were not promising, with CSNPhilly.com's Jim Salisbury reporting (via Twitter) that Halladay managed only 52 strikes in 90 pitches, allowing seven hits and three walks while striking out four. According to Salisbury, also via Twitter, Halladay "does not look ready." Gelb concurred with that assessment, though he noted that Halladay seems determined to start for the Phils on Sunday. (Twitter links.) For more details on Halladay's evening, see this piece from David Murphy, Gelb's colleague with the Inquirer.
  • Another Philadelphia starter is headed in the opposite direction, with Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reporting that John Lannan will be shut down for the season and is likely headed for surgery. Assistant GM Scott Proefrock said that he believes Lannan "ruptured [a] tendon" in his left knee. Already a non-tender candidate, the 28-year-old struggled to a 5.33 ERA over 74 1/3 innings in his first year in Philadelphia and could be left looking for a minor league deal for 2014.

Quick Hits: Wells, Kinsler, Phillies, Robertson

MLBTR’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed the Rangers, the Indians and offseason qualifying offers on the latest edition of the Rosters & Rumblings Podcast. Click here to listen in.  Here are some news items from around the baseball world…

  • The Mets are one of three teams interested in right-hander Kip Wells, reports MLB.com's Evan Drellich.  Wells, 35, posted a 4.58 ERA, a 4.6 K/9 rate and a 4.8 BB/9 rate in seven starts for the Padres last season, the first time Wells had pitched in the Majors since 2009.  Wells has pitched for nine different clubs over his 12-year career.
  • Ian Kinsler has reversed course and told Rangers management that he would prefer to remain at second base, reports Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  Kinsler said he was open to a position change back in November but has since decided that he isn't comfortable moving off second at this point in his career.  Had Kinsler been willing to move to first base, Texas could have explored using Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus as the team's double-play combo.
  • The incentive details of Mike Adams' and John Lannan's contracts with the Phillies are outlined by Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Nate Robertson is looking for a spot in a Major League training camp as a left-handed relief specialist, Robertson's agent Steve Canter tells Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  The 35-year-old Robertson's last Major League appearance came in 2010 and he has spent the last two seasons pitching in the minors for the Mariners, Cubs and Blue Jays.  Robertson could find success as a specialist given that he has held left-handed hitters to a .695 OPS over his nine-year career.
  • Shaun Marcum is still without a team and Fangraphs' Mike Axisa examines why the market for the free agent right-hander has yet to develop.  Marcum was ranked as the 19th-best free agent of the offseason by MLBTR's Tim Dierkes earlier this winter, though three players higher on the list than Marcum (Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse and Rafael Soriano) are also still available.
  • Baseball America's Matt Eddy has the list of minor league transactions from the first week of January.
  • Mike Trout unsurprisingly headlines the list of the 25 best players under the age of 25 as compiled by ESPN's Keith Law.  Trout and the other three players atop Law's list delivered a historically great performance that compares to the all-time best quartets of young hitters, as noted by ESPN's Dave Cameron.  (An ESPN Insider subscription is required for both pieces.)

Phillies To Sign John Lannan

The Phillies have agreed to sign left-hander John Lannan to a one-year, $2.5MM contract, the team announced today. The deal includes another $2.5M in bonuses according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). Lannan is represented by Brodie Van Wagenen at CAA Sports.

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“Clearly we have a familiarity with John and his past performance and success in this division helps us add depth to our rotation,” GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said.

The pitching-rich Nationals non-tendered the 28-year-old Lannan last month rather than pay a projected $5MM in his third trip through arbitration. He spent most of last season in Triple-A (4.30 ERA in 148 2/3 innings) despite a $5MM salary, though he did make six big league starts for Washington (4.13 ERA in 32 2/3 innings).

Lannan, a four-pitch finesse left-hander, brings reliability to the Phillies rotation. He's thrown at least 180 total innings in each of the last five seasons and has a career 53.0% ground ball rate, which is well-above-average. He won't miss many bats though (career 4.7 K/9). Philadelphia was reportedly seeking a low-risk starter after trading Vance Worley for Ben Revere, and Lannan qualifies.

Because he was non-tendered in November, Lannan did not qualify for Tim Dierkes' Top 50 Free Agents List.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com first reported the agreement (on Twitter). Photo courtesy of US Presswire.



Free Agent Notes: Rafael Soriano, Thome, Lannan

MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith and Jason Martinez of MLB Depth Charts discussed suitors for Zack Greinke and the developing infield market on the latest Rosters and Rumblings podcast. Click here to listen in.  Read on for some free agent notes…

  • Agent Scott Boras seemingly took shots at Boston's Shane Victorino and Mike Napoli signings in his explanation of closer Rafael Soriano's demands, telling reporters including Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times, "We're seeing mid-level players make $13 million a year.  The value of a closer, you would have to argue, has historically been more valuable than what you see in mid-level players."  Apparently in reference to Tigers' plan to use Bruce Rondon, Boras said, "You can count on one hand the number of closers under the age of 23 that have ever gone to the big leagues and put together 30 saves, let alone pitch in the postseason and be effective."  It has actually only happened twice, with Neftali Feliz in 2010 and Huston Street in 2006.  If we include age-23 seasons, seven more stoppers join the list and Feliz appears again.
  • Jim Thome remains undecided on whether to play in 2013, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel told MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.
  • 11 teams have expressed interest in free agent lefty John Lannan for potential Major League jobs, hears Amanda Comak of the Washington Times.  The 28-year-old has drawn interest from the Mets, Twins, and Pirates, based on previous reports.

Free Agent Rumors: Lannan, Escobar, Youkilis, Drew

With plenty of rumors flying around the lobby of the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, we're making sure we don't let anything slip through the cracks. Here are a few morning updates from around the league on some of this winter's free agents:

  • Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets that the Mets have displayed interest in the recently non-tendered John Lannan, perhaps as insurance if the team trades a starter.
  • Although he hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2009, Kelvim Escobar is healthy in winter ball and is drawing interest at the Winter Meetings, tweets ESPN.com's Buster Olney.

Earlier updates:

  • The Yankees have spoken with Kevin Youkilis' agent, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link). According to Curry, Youkilis would consider a one-year deal if the salary was at a "premium amount."
  • The Mariners are interested in free agent outfielder Nate McLouth, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • A rival evaluator tells ESPN.com's Buster Olney (Twitter link) that there's "no way" Stephen Drew would sign with the Yankees to be a part-time or utility player. Drew is seeking a full-time job.
  • Red Sox GM Ben Cherington acknowledged that giving up a draft pick to sign Nick Swisher would be a factor in Boston's pursuit of the outfielder (link via Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com).
  • Mike Silverman of the Boston Herald hears that the Red Sox still have a chance in the Josh Hamilton sweepstakes, but it's a long shot (Twitter link).
  • After getting a clean bill of health on his hand and wrist, Ian Stewart has drawn wide interest from teams looking for third base help, tweets Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Tyler Kepner of the New York Times notes (via Twitter) that Stewart could be a fit for the Yankees.
  • Within his latest piece for the New York Post, Ken Davidoff hears that the Mets and Ryan Ludwick are an unlikely match, and wonders if Nick Swisher could end up with the Mariners.
  • The Reds will meet with Ludwick's agent this morning, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The veteran outfielder could accept the offer on the table from Cincinnati, though Fay speculates that the Reds are offering two years and Ludwick wants three. A two-year deal with a third-year option might work for both sides, says Fay.
  • The Athletics will meet with the reps for Japanese shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima today, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.
  • The Dodgers, Giants, Brewers, Angels, and Rays are among the teams that have inquired on free agent reliever Mark Lowe, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
  • Scott Kazmir, who is throwing 90-94 mph in Puerto Rico, is drawing interest from a host of teams and could choose from a handful of offers soon, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the Mets aren't in the mix for the lefty, tweets Andy Martino of the New York Daily News.

Free Agent Rumors: Oswalt, Delmon, Sizemore, Ross, Ludwick

Here's the latest from the Winter Meetings on a handful of free agents:

Earlier updates:


Blanton, Correia, Myers On Twins’ Radar

While the top options on the free agent market may be out of the Twins' price range the club's search for pitching has Minnesota eyeing Joe Blanton as a "prime target," according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. Kevin Correia and Brett Myers are also on the team's radar, Crasnick reports.

In addition to those three names, recently non-tendered pitchers like Mike Pelfrey, John Lannan, and others could interest the Twins, according to Crasnick. Vicente Padilla has also drawn a little interest from Minnesota.

Although the Twins seem to be looking at plenty of pitching options in free agency, the team has also been more active in trade talks than expected, says Crasnick. Teams with pitchers on the block have approached the Twins about both Ben Revere and Josh Willingham.


Overnight Links: LaRoche, Marlins, Giants, Delmon

MLBTR is providing 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings for the fourth straight year. I'll once again be handling overnight duties for the following four nights to keep track of late-breaking and crack-of-dawn news and rumors. Here's the latest from around the league…

  • There is a "growing sense" that the Nationals and Adam LaRoche will get a new contract worked out, writes Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. That transaction would make Michael Morse expendable, which would explain reports that the Nats and Rays are discussing Morse in a trade.
  • The Marlins figure to be observers at this year's Winter Meetings, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. The team is likely to pursue bullpen options and bench depth.
  • The Giants are still interested in Shane Victorino as a fallback option in the event that they are unable to re-sign Angel Pagan, tweets John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
  • Giants general manager Brian Sabean told Shea that the team isn't in on any "high-ticket items" (Twitter link). As Shea notes, that should rule out Michael Bourn. I wonder if Sabean is also including Nick Swisher, who has been linked to the Giants, in that description.
  • Delmon Young might wait until January to sign, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. Young is recovering from ankle surgery and wants to be healthy in his auditions for new teams.
  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Brewers general manager Doug Melvin isn't inclined to go beyond two years in deals for free agent pitchers (Twitter link).
  • John Lannan will be a popular name among teams in need of starting pitching depth, and the Twins are expected to kick the tires, according to Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN (on Twitter). The Nationals non-tendered the 28-year-old southpaw on Friday.

East Notes: Wright, Dickey, Hamilton, Ichiro

Here's a look at the some of the news out of the AL and NL East:


Notable Non-Tendered Players

The non-tender deadline passed at midnight ET last night, and more than 30 new free agents hit the open market after their teams declined to make a contract offer. Our Non-Tender Tracker has the full list.

Most non-tendered players are fringe roster guys, but a few are established big leaguers who may have seen their performance slip or battled injury. In all cases, the team didn't consider him to be worth his expected salary in the upcoming season. Here's a look at some of this year's most notable non-tenders.

  • Jair Jurrjens – Still just 26, Jurrjens is one year removed from a 2.96 ERA in 152 innings. He's battled numerous injuries (including right knee surgery) and pitched so poorly earlier this year that he was sent to Triple-A. That said, the combination of age and past performance gives Jurrjens some of the highest upside on the free agent market.
  • Jeff Karstens – Karstens, 30, was limited to just 90 2/3 innings this year due to shoulder and hip problems, but he's pitched to a 3.59 ERA with a 1.7 BB/9 in 253 innings since the start of last year.
  • John Lannan – The Nationals didn't have a place for Lannan this year, so the 28-year-old spent most of the season in Triple-A despite a $5MM salary. The left-hander has thrown at least 180 innings in each of the last five seasons, so he adds a reliable southpaw to a free agent class surprisingly short on that type of pitcher.
  • Mark Reynolds – Power is hard to find these days, and the 29-year-old Reynolds hit 37 home runs just a year ago. He dipped to .221/.335/.429 with 23 homers this year, though he did produce a .258/.374/.525 line with 20 homers in 353 plate appearances from early-May through early-September. Although his best position is first base, a power-starved team could give Reynolds a look at third base given the shallow free agent pool.
  • Geovany Soto – The free agent catching market is weak, especially now that Russell Martin has signed with the Pirates, so the 29-year-old Soto could become a popular target in short order. He hit just .198/.270/.343 in 361 plate appearances this year, but a year ago he put up a respectable .228/.310/.411 line with 17 homers. Enough teams need catching help that Soto should have little trouble finding a new employer.
  • Brian Wilson – It's been two years since Wilson, 30, was truly dominant. He's coming off his second Tommy John surgery and posted a 3.11 ERA in 55 innings last season while his strikeout (8.8 K/9) and walk (5.1 BB/9) rates took big hits, but teams do love to roll the dice on formerly elite closers coming off down seasons and/or injury. Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle hears Wilson was upset after being non-tendered and has told people he will not re-sign with the Giants.
  • Other non-tendered players like Scott Atchison, Tom Gorzelanny, Mike Pelfrey (coming off Tommy John surgery), and Nate Schierholtz have proven useful in various roles and figure to be relatively popular targets as free agents.