John Lannan was the topic of conversation for several teams in the offseason, and with his demotion to Triple-A, he has once again popped up on some radars.
The Washington Nationals opted to have Ross Detwiler start in the fifth spot, which has left Lannan in Triple-A Syracuse making $5 million. General manager Mike Rizzo spoke of the move, saying, "The last thing I told [Lannan] was, ‘You’re going to help us in the big leagues this year or someone else in the big leagues this year."
Although the Nats may to want to hold on to Lannan, it would not be a surprise if they ended up getting a deal done if the right one presents itself.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Chicago Cubs have once again shown interest in the lefty. The Nationals needs a center fielder while Bryce Harper develops in the minors, so a deal involving Marlon Byrd seems to be a likely scenario.
The salaries of the two men are comparable, with Byrd earning $6.5 million this season and Lannan making $5 million. The Nationals had previously shown interest in Marlon Byrd and would be faced with a dilemma if the offer is ever officially discussed.
The Cubs could use the lefty, and the Nats could use the center fielder until Harper is called up.
It would be a steal for the Cubs if they were able to negotiate a trade with Washington. There is more of an upside with Lannan, and he could benefit the Cubs immediately.
The Nationals might want to try trading former Cub Tom Gorzelanny to Chicago if they want to try holding on to Lannan. The Cubs have also shown interest in Gorzelanny, and the Nats have good depth at pitching, so one of these guys might be available.