John Lannan Rumors
Earlier today, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark reported that MLB and the MLBPA have agreed to stop including personal services deals and milestone bonus clauses in player contracts. He offers some reaction and detail in today’s column to go along with more rumors from around the league. Here are the highlights:
- One prominent agent says the aforementioned changes more make it more difficult to add dollars to contracts without counting them against the luxury tax.
- The Nationals still want to move John Lannan, but his slow start at Triple-A (7.50 ERA in three starts) is limiting his trade value.
- The Nationals aren’t trying to trade Roger Bernadina, Stark reports. Right now Washington is thin on outfield depth, so they’re probably not in a position to trade outfielders away.
- Some teams wonder if the Angels should shop Mark Trumbo for a controllable reliever. There’s no indication the Angels are looking to trade Trumbo, but they’re “trying feverishly” to move Bobby Abreu, Stark reports.
- Scouts say the Orioles would “do anything” to trade third baseman Mark Reynolds and right-handed reliever Kevin Gregg.
Giants closer Brian Wilson will undergo his second Tommy John surgery tomorrow. Over the weekend we heard that his season was over and that another elbow procedure was likely. Make sure you follow @CloserNews on Twitter for all your fantasy bullpen needs. Meanwhile, here's the latest from around the league...
- Nationals southpaw John Lannan is still not drawing trade interest according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. His $5MM salary continues to be a problem, with one executive saying "teams would rather use a low-paid Minor Leaguer for the fifth spot before dealing with Lannan's money."
- The Yankees have no plans to talk to Russell Martin about a contract extension soon, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Martin will become a free agent after this season, and the two sides briefly discussed a multi-year deal this past offseason.
- Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that a panel of baseball officials will help resolve a local television revenue dispute between the Nationals and Orioles. The two clubs share ownership of MASN, but the O's hold a substantially larger stake. The current deal was hammered out when the Nats moved to Washington in 2005.
Highlights from the latest edition of Full Count from Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..
- The Nationals continue to look for a taker for John Lannan but his $5MM salary is only part of the problem. A rival exec points out that any team that gets Lannan might prefer to let him go this offseason rather than go to arbitration with him, further diminishing his value.
- A rival executive says that Joey Votto's ten-year, $225MM contract with the Reds could affect Zack Greinke's talks with the Brewers. In the past, a team like Milwaukee could claim that a small market team could never afford such a deal, but that no longer seems like a fair argument.
- The Cardinals talked about trading Kyle Lohse or Jake Westbrook to free up space for Albert Pujols but it now looks like they made the right decision to hang on to both. While the two pitchers will earn a combined $20MM+ this season, both reported in excellent condition this season and are off to strong early starts.
- The Braves are locked into their local TV deal for the next 20 years - a deal that could soon become the worst in the sport. Meanwhile, their payroll is stagnant and while the farm system is deep in pitchers and shortstops, it's not terribly deep in other areas. Rosenthal can't imagine that the future looks promising for catcher Brian McCann as he is two years away from free agency.
Jackie Robinson signed a Major League contract with Dodgers GM Branch Rickey on this date in 1947. Robinson played in his first MLB game five days later and went on to be named Rookie of the Year. Here are some notes from around MLB on the anniversary of that historic day...
- Things are looking up for the Dodgers now that they've put 2011 behind them and are about to undergo an ownership transition, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes.
- Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com suggests the Cardinals will be fine this season, even with longtime star Albert Pujols playing for the Angels.
- The Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Red Sox, Astros and Tigers have expressed interest in John Lannan, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. However, the Nationals are inclined to hold onto the left-hander. "We feel he's a solid major-league starting pitcher," GM Mike Rizzo said. "But we feel we have five guys who are better than him." The Tigers haven't ruled Lannan out, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports tweets.
- High school center fielder Byron Buxton and college catcher Mike Zunino top Keith Law's list of amateur player eligible for this summer's draft (ESPN Insider link).
It didn’t take Ozzie Guillen long to stir up some controversy in Miami. The Marlins announced a five-game suspension without pay for their new manager following his recent comments about Fidel Castro. Here are the latest links from the NL East...
- Guillen, who addressed the media this morning, faced “the biggest day of his professional life” today according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (all Twitter links). Heyman suggested Guillen’s job was "at risk” but said the community reaction will ultimately matter most.
- Yahoo's Tim Brown writes that Guillen "possesses no authority on the subject of Fidel Castro."
- There doesn’t appear to be any traction on a possible John Lannan for Marlon Byrd trade, Heyman tweets. The Nationals appear to have discussed Lannan and Byrd with the Cubs.
- The Mets view Mike Pelfrey as an innings eater who stays in games, even if it's not always pretty, Newsday's David Lennon writes. Pelfrey says he's capable of more, but the Mets have low expectations for the right-hander.
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.
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).
Some NL East links for Thursday, as the Braves and Mets get their season started in New York...
- Jose Reyes doesn't seem to be missing the Mets, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. It’d be hard to fault Reyes for enjoying his role on an exciting Marlins team and his $106MM contract.
- Cole Hamels' track record is "a little better than [Matt] Cain's, so it does make things difficult," Phillies senior advisor Pat Gillick told Bob McCown and Damien Cox on Sportsnet Radio FAN 590 yesterday. The Phillies have some interest in locking Hamels up long-term, but Cain's $112.5MM extension complicated things earlier this week.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick that he had two "uncomfortable" conversations with John Lannan after telling the left-hander he was being optioned to the minor leagues (Twitter links). "If he was happy and took this laying down, it wouldn't be John Lannan," Rizzo said. "And you'd have to worry about that type of person.''
- Rizzo said there's "mild" interest in Lannan, but manager Davey Johnson said the Nationals are "not trading him," Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports. Lannan has requested a trade.
Here are some links from around the league as Wednesday turns into Thursday...
- John Lannan requested a trade earlier tonight, but MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears the Nationals aren't close to making a deal. They've talked to at least 20 teams about the southpaw, but his $5MM salary is a sticking point. Washington wants prospects or bench players in return.
- Unsurprisingly, the Yankees top baseball with a $197.9MM payroll according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (Twitter links). It's their lowest payroll since 2007. The Padres bring up the rear at $53.9MM.
- Nightengale reports (on Twitter) that Jamie Moyer will earn $1.1MM with the Rockies this season. The 49-year-old made the club after signing a minor league deal this winter.
- Orioles GM Dan Duquette said there is no update on Dana Eveland, according to Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com (on Twitter). The left-hander was designated for assignment last week and they are still going through the process.
- The Orioles are expected to acquire Chris Robinson, reports Melewski (on Twitter). The catcher hit .316/.345/.396 in 240 plate appearances while in the Cubs' farm system last year. He is now listed on the roster of Baltimore's Triple-A affilliate.
John Lannan has told Nationals GM Mike Rizzo that he would like to be traded according to an email he sent to the media, including Amanda Comak of The Washington Times (Twitter link). The left-hander was recently optioned to Triple-A despite his $5MM salary.
"I believe that I belong in a big league rotation," said Lannan in an email according to Comak (on Twitter). The club's fifth starter job went to Ross Detwiler in the wake of Chien-Ming Wang's hamstring injury. A number of teams expressed interest in acquiring Lannan last month, but Rizzo held on to him while insisting for fair value in return. The Nationals are under no obligation to satisfy his request.