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Tag:John Lannan
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:07 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 8:10 pm
 

John Lannan on the block?

By Dayn Perry

John LannanNationals lefty John Lannan could be traded by Opening Day, reports MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Ladson's source believes that the Nats will seek a package of prospects in return. 

Washington certainly has the rotation depth to make such a move. Barring injury or trade, they'll likely break camp with six starting pitchers on the active roster: Lannan, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Edwin Jackson, Jordan Zimmermann, and Chien-Ming Wang

As for Lannan's allure on the market (besides the general interest that surrounds any starting pitcher up for trade), the Nats will no doubt find suitors. Lannan will be arbitration-eligible for the third time after the upcoming season and is slated for free agency following the 2013 campaign. 

In 2011, Lannan posted a 3.70 ERA in 184.2 innings. However, Lannan's peripherals (i.e., things like strikeouts, walks, and home run rates) suggest he was a bit lucky last season. Most of the projection systems tab him for a 2012 ERA that ranges from slightly better than league average to slightly worse than league average. Still, a guy who can give you average-ish innings from the back end has value. Since the Nats will be dealing from a position of strength, trading Lannan makes sense. 

On the other hand, almost no team uses just five starters for an entire season, and given Strasburg's probable innings limit and Wang's injury history (and the Nats' legitimate designs on contention), depth might be more necessity than luxury for D.C.

​​​​For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.


Posted on: February 27, 2012 10:03 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 12:33 pm
 

Spring primer: Washington Nationals



By Matt Snyder


The Washington Nationals have never had a winning record. They finished 81-81 in 2005 but came in last. Then they dipped all the way down to consecutive 59-win seasons before winning 69 in 2010 and going 80-81 last season. So is 2012 the time for the first Nationals winning season -- and possibly more? Unfortunately for the Nats, they play in one of the toughest divisions in baseball. Fortunately for the Nats, they are improved from last season's third-place team.

Danny Knobler's camp report: Harper decision might make all the difference | Likes, dislikes

Major additions: LHP Gio Gonzalez, RHP Edwin Jackson, RHP Brad Lidge
Major departures: OF Layne Nix, RHP Livan Hernandez, RHP Todd Coffey

Probable lineup
1. Ian Desmond, SS
2. Jayson Werth, RF
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Michael Morse, LF
5. Adam LaRoche, 1B
6. Danny Espinosa, 2B
7. Wilson Ramos, C
8. Roger Bernadina, CF

Probable rotation
1. Stephen Strasburg
2. Gio Gonzalez
3. Jordan Zimmerman
4. Edwin Jackson
5. Chien-Ming Wang

John Lannan is also a possibility as the fifth starter, and remember Strasburg is on a 160-inning limit this season.

Back-end bullpen
Closer: Drew Storen
Set-up: Tyler Clippard, Brad Lidge

Important bench players

C Jesus Flores, IF/OF Mark DeRosa, OF Rick Ankiel

Prospect to watch
C'mon. You know who. We've all been watching Bryce Harper since he was about 15, and from everything said in camp it sounds like 2012 is the year we see him in the majors. Will he break camp with the club? Only if they're ready to play him everyday, which means Werth is shoved to center. I believe the Nationals would have to be 100 percent convinced Harper was ready to star right now, otherwise there's no reason to do so -- especially since the defense would suffer as a result. More likely, an injury or underperformance opens the door sometime in May or June. Regardless, scouts collectively believe Harper is an elite-level superstar when he does stick in the majors. Anthony Rendon bears watching as well, but not to the extent of Harper.

Fantasy breakout: Jordan Zimmermann
"One could argue that in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery Zimmermann had already broken out. Last year the 25-year-old posted a 3.18 ERA and 1.15 WHIP and only an innings limit kept him from being a top 40 starting pitcher. This season, Zimmermann won't be curtailed in terms of his workload, and better yet, there is room for him to perform better even on a per-inning basis. He averaged slightly less than seven strikeouts per nine innings in 2011, not meeting the standard he set prior to his surgery but he started to miss a lot more bats over his final 10 starts. Over that span, Zimmermann got to strike three 53 times in 58 2/3 innings. With more innings and a higher K-rate likely this season, look for Zimmermann to emerge as a No. 3 starting pitcher in mixed leagues." - Al Melchior [Full Nationals fantasy team preview]

Fantasy bust Jayson Werth
"Leaving a homer-friendly ballpark in Philadelphia behind, many expected Werth to have a down year in 2011, but the worst may be yet to come. Park factors may have worked against Werth with his move to Washington but even before he signed with the Nationals he was facing a steady decline in his home run per flyball ratio. While Werth's home run power seems to be evaporating the 46 doubles he hit in 2010 was merely an outlier as he has never hit more than 26 in a season barring that one year." - Al Melchior [Full Nationals fantasy team preview]

Optimistic outlook
Every player plays like he's capable and the Nationals don't have a major weakness. The offense has the potential to be strong top-to-bottom, with great starting pitching -- Edwin Jackson proving to be the best No. 4 in the league -- and a lock-down back-end of the bullpen. If everything comes together like it can, the Nationals would make the playoffs. They may not be able to win the toughest division in the National League, but with a possibility of two wild cards on the table -- seriously, Bud, how long until this is decided?!? -- there's certainly no reason to count out the Nats.

Pessimistic outlook
While there are good hitters in the lineup, the lack of an elite slugger in addition to a hole in center field holds the offense back. Werth's struggles bleed into 2012, Zimmerman again can't stay healthy and the pitching staff is plagued by Gonzalez's control issues and Jackson's inconsistency -- not to mention Strasburg's inning limit. Playing in the mighty NL East, the Nationals come in fourth or even last, with the Mets surprising and jumping over them.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 16, 2012 12:03 pm
 

Arbitration season ends, owners win 5-2

Garrett Jones

By C. Trent Rosecrans


The Pirates wrapped up arbitration season on Thursday, beating Garrett Jones and settling with Casey McGehee on a one-year deal before heading to the arbitration room.

Jones was the seventh and final player to head to his arbitration hearing this winter, with owners taking a decisive 5-2 victory in 2012. Last season only three cases went to arbitration, with the players winning two (both against the Marlins -- the arbitrators must have felt sorry for them having to wear those new uniforms).

In a nutshell, the way arbitration works is that the player and team swap demands and after both sides make their cases, three arbitrators pick one number or the other -- in Jones' case, the arbitrators picked the team's offer of $2.25 million instead of Jones' demand of $2.5 million. Or, at any point before the door closes on the hearing room, the two sides can compromise. That's what the Pirates did with McGehee, settling at $2.5375 million, more or less between his request of $2.75 million and the team's offer of $2.35 million.

Because the hearings are so late in the offseason, most teams budget for the worst-case scenario with their arbitration-eligible players and the final result really on effects the guy signing the check and the guy cashing the check.

But hey, what's the fun of having winners and losers if you don't have a scoreboard. So here's looking back at this year's arbitration cases.

Team victories
The Brewers ($2 million) beat Jose Veras ($2.35 million)
The Nationals ($5 million) beat John Lannan ($5.7 million)
The Orioles ($800,000) beat Brad Bergesen ($1.2 million)
The Rays ($2.75 million) beat Jeff Niemann ($3.2 million)
The Pirates ($2.25 million) beat Jones ($2.5 million).

Marlins lossesPlayer victories
Emilio Bonifacio ($2.2 million) beat the Marlins ($1.95 million)
Anibal Sanchez ($8 million) beat the Marlins ($6.9 million)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.
Posted on: February 5, 2012 5:50 pm
Edited on: February 5, 2012 5:56 pm
 

Nationals sign Rick Ankiel to minor-league deal

Rick AnkielBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Rick Ankiel is returning to the Nationals -- or their camp, at least. Washington has signed the outfielder to a minor-league deal with an invite to the big league camp, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times tweeted and CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman confirmed.

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Ankiel hit .239/.296/.363 with 9 home runs in 122 games last season for the Nationals, his first year in Washington. He'd signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Nationals after spending 2010 with the Royals and Braves. Ankiel won the starting center field job out of spring training, leading to the Nationals' trade of Nyjer Morgan to Milwaukee. Washington, though, continues to search for a center fielder for the future and has been tied to the Angels' Peter Bourjos in some rumors that would have the Nationals sending right-hander John Lannan to Anaheim, allowing the Angels to make way for Mike Trout in center. Roger Bernadina is currently slated to start in center for the Nationals and they've also added Mike Cameron. Jayson Werth could also start in center if Bryce Harper makes the team out of spring as the right fielder.

The 32-year-old is a career .246/.309/.423 hitter in five seasons as a full-time outfielder after originally coming to the big leagues as a starter with the Cardinals. After suffering control problems, he went back to the minors and returned to St. Louis as an outfielder in 2007. In 2008, he hit 25 home runs, his best as a big leaguer.

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Posted on: January 15, 2012 2:37 pm
Edited on: January 15, 2012 10:23 pm
 

Nats give Gio Gonzalez 5-year extension

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Not only did the Nationals avoid arbitration with recently acquired left-hander Gio Gonzalez, the team bought out the rest of his arbitration years and more, agreeing to a five-year, $42 million extension on Sunday, the team announced. The deal also includes options for 2017 and 2018.

The 26-year-old came from Oakland in a six-player deal on Dec. 23. An All-Star in 2011, Gonzalez was 16-12 with a 3.12 ERA last season. Overall, he's 38-32 with a 3.93 ERA in parts of four seasons in Oakland. In each of the last two seasons, he's won at least 15 games and thrown more than 200 innings.

Gonzalez will join Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann in the rotation, along with John Lannan and Chien-Ming Wang.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed and "like" us on Facebook.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:49 am
Edited on: December 12, 2011 11:56 am
 

Homegrown Team: Nationals/Expos



By Matt Snyder


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

We continue the series today with the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos. Yeah, remember them -- the best team in baseball in 1994 before the strike ended the season without a World Series? If you don't, you'll need to be reminded of a certain Bartolo Colon trade, which ended up being awful for the Expos, who got 17 starts from Colon after coughing up three future All-Stars for him. What we see is a team that looks pretty good, but has loads of young talent either already developing in the bigs or soon to be arriving.

Lineup

1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Brandon Phillips, 2B
3. Ryan Zimmerman, 3B
4. Vladimir Guerrero, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Danny Espinosa, 1B
7. Ian Desmond, SS
8. Brian Schneider, C

Starting Rotation

1. Cliff Lee
2. Stephen Strasburg
3. Jordan Zimmermann
4. Javier Vazquez
5. John Lannan

Bullpen

Closer - Drew Storen
Set up - Bill Bray, Craig Stammen, Collin Balester, Miguel Batista
Long - Armando Galarraga, Brad Peacock, Tom Milone, Ross Detwiler

Notable Bench Players

Bryce Harper, Chris Marrero, Wilson Valdez, Anthony Rendon, Jamey Carroll, Orlando Cabrera, Geoff Blum and Roger Bernadina.

What's Good?

The starting rotation is really good, especially if you start to think about the future. Much like the real Nats, Peacock, Milone and Detwiler all have the potential to break through and really make this a strong top-to-bottom rotation. Here, you have a perennial Cy Young candidate sitting at the top, too. The batting order definitely has the potential to be good, but there are a lot of question marks, so we can't really be overly excited about it. But, much like with the rotation, there is some serious potential on the way in Harper and Rendon. Finally, the bench is really good. This team has depth.

And in case you're curious, the three All-Stars the Expos gave up for Colon were Sizemore, Phillips and Lee. None of the three had made their major-league debut at the time of the trade.

What's Not?

If we were really going to stick Vlad in right field, we'd have to pray no one hit the ball out there. Should I have gotten more creative and put Vlad at first, moving Espinosa out to right? Maybe. We could move Vlad to 1B and throw Harper into the fire, play Bernadina in the outfield and move Vlad to first or just bench Guerrero. I'm open to any idea, but the idea I used was to maximize the offense. Hey, it worked when the Cardinals put Lance Berkman in right this past real season, right? Also, Schneider is a pretty bad catching option at this point, but there were zero other options on current 40-man rosters or in free agency in the MLB (which is what we used to build these rosters). Finally, the bullpen is very thin in front of Storen in the late innings.

Comparison to real 2011

The real-life Nats are just on the cusp of breaking through, though it'll be tough in the stacked NL East. These Nats would be a bit better with the legitimate ace Lee and a great bench. Maybe mid-80s in wins, but with tons of help on the way. Much like with the real Nats, it's kind of a "watch out next year" type deal -- with the likes of Harper, Rendon, Peacock and Milone waiting in the wings while Strasburg, Zimmermann, Storen, Espinosa et al continue to get better.

Next: Boston Red Sox

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: August 25, 2011 3:59 pm
Edited on: August 25, 2011 4:06 pm
 

On Deck: Watching the Wests

OD

By Matt Snyder

With four day games and only five night games, the pickings are slim for On Deck. Fortunately, we have three pretty important evening games, thanks to some of the teams out West. Follow all the action live on CBSSports.com's scoreboard and keep up with the standings that update at the conclusion of every game.

Texas heat: The Angels are idle Thursday, but breathing down the neck of the Rangers again, as they've won six in a row while the Rangers have dropped two straight. The Texas lead is 2 1/2 games, while the Angels visit for a pivotal three-game series beginning Friday. Should the Rangers lose Thursday night against the Red Sox, they'd be in danger of losing the division lead during the Angels' series. All-Star Alexi Ogando (12-5, 3.30) will start for the Rangers and square off against Andrew Miller (5-1, 4.99) of the Red Sox. Ogando has faltered a bit of late, with a 5.19 ERA in his last six starts, though he was good last time out. Still, the Red Sox offense in a hitter's park is a tall order. The Rangers bats better be ready to answer the call. The Red Sox have work to do themselves, as they entered Thursday with a one-game lead in the AL East. Red Sox at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. ET.

Snakes in D.C.: The surprising Diamondbacks are sitting atop the NL West with a two-game lead -- despite a recent six-game losing streak -- but have the defending champs hot on their heels, so every game at this point is big for Kirk Gibson's crew. Thursday night won't be easy against the Nationals, who, by the way, are in third place in the NL East. John Lannan (8-9, 3.61) takes the hill for Washington, and he's 3-1 with a 1.04 ERA in his career against Arizona. The D-Backs, meanwhile, send Wade Miley (0-1, 11.25) to the mound. He only has one career start, a four-inning, five-runs-allowed loss this past Saturday against the Braves. Diamondbacks at Nationals, 7:05 p.m. ET.

Giant opportunity: If the D-Backs do lose to the Nats, the Giants should move to within one game. They're taking on the Astros, who have lost four in a row and have the worst record in the majors. Further on the side of the Giants, All-Star Ryan Vogelsong (10-3, 2.47) takes the hill, and he's had great success at home (1.82 ERA in 74 1/3 innings). Meanwhile, the Astros hand the ball to Henry Sosa (0-2, 6.35). He's going on three-days' rest, as the Astros are going to activate J.A. Happ from the disabled list Friday. Astros at Giants, 10:15 p.m. ET.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:51 am
 

On Deck: Bonifacio looking for 26

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Emilio BonifacioBonifacio going for 26: Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 25 games last night.  Bonfifacio is 4 for 12 in his career against Thursday's starter for the Nationals, John Lannan. That may not matter, though, as Bonifacio has picked up a hit in his final at-bat five times during the streak, including Wednesday night when he singled off Nationals' right-hander Ryan Mattheus in the eighth inning of the team's 7-5 victory over the Nationals.Brad Hand is on the mound for the Marlins after three starts in Triple-A. Hand is 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts for Florida this season. Marlins at Nationals, 12:35 p.m. ET

Carlos BeltranBeltran in Philly: Not only did the Phillies not win the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes, they'll have to see what they missed out on up close, as Beltran is expected to make his debut tonight against Philadelphia. Beltran is 6 for 19 with a homer in his career against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Giants are expected to have Tim Lincecum back on the mound today after missing two starts due to sickness. Giants at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

How about playing 9?: The Braves and Pirates went 19 innings on Tuesday and 10 innings Wednesday. The two teams have combined to use 25 relievers in the first two games of the series, so they certainly hope Paul Maholm and Derek Lowe can go long tonight. Maholm is averaging 6 1/3 innings per putting, Lowe is averaging 5 2/3 inning per start. This is nothing new for Atlanta, though, as the Braves have played 22 extra-inning games this season, the most in the majors. Pirates at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

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