John Lannan’s trade request after his demotion to Class AAA Syracuse doesn’t sit well with Tom Boswell, who kind of lit into the Nationals left-hander in his online chat this morning.
Asked about Lannan’s demand, Boz didn’t pull any punches. “Stars demand trades, not John Lannans,” he wrote. “He’s never quite understood where he stands in the pecking order.”
Though Boz being Boz, he later softened his take:
“Lannan’s feelings were hurt. Cut him some slack. But now it’s time for him to get over it. That’s the game. It’s hard, hard, hard. At least he’s getting paid $5M for the bumps in the road.”
More substantively, Boz made this point about Lannan and his future — with the Nats and beyond :
Unless the Nats get decent value for him — which they won’t, they should keep him as insurance at AAA. Maybe he helps them in September/Oct when Strasburg is shut down and maybe somebody else gets hurt. Then, even though the Nats control him for another year, they’d probably non-tender him because, in arbitration, salaries almost never go down much — so Lannan might conceivably take them to arb for ’13 and nail them for $4M after a year in AAA! What a sport!
So, most likely scenario, they non-tender Lannan after this year and he signs with one of a half-dozen teams who always need a 10-12, 190 inning pitcher for $2M or some such. Then, if he buckles down and keeps his stock up within the game, he gets “another life.”
If he’ll just play it that way — which I think he will because he’s smart — and not sulk at Syracuse, I still believe he can be a classic southpaw type like Bud Black, Paul Splittorff, Larry Gura, Scott McGregor, Tom Browning, Denny Neagle, Ross Grimsley and a dozen more I could name. But DON’T screw up your reputation as a good guy. It’s too easy to view Lannan as marginal/not worth the trouble. Don’t let that happen by acting emotionally. It was a tough break but NOT an unfair decision. It was a classic baseball decision — and Davey looked sick when he was announcing it. Everybody in the locker room felt bad for Lannan. BUT they also felt great for Detwiler, Stammen and Mattheus who all ended up on the roster. Detwiler has earned a shot at starting. Wang has looked FAR better than Lannan has ever been; if he gets healthy (if), then he ranks far ahead of Lannan in the pecking order.
You can also read Boz’s entire chat, which included questions about the Nationals and the Masters, right here.
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