The Washington Post

Nationals will option John Lannan, Ross Detwiler likely the Nationals fifth starter

(Paul Sancya/AP)

The stunning decision comes one year after Lannan, twice the Nationals’ opening day starter, won 10 games with a 3.70 ERA. Lannan, making $5 million this season, is believed to be the highest-paid player in baseball history to be optioned to the minor leagues before the end of spring training.

Manager Davey Johnson had anointed Lannan the team’s fifth starter once Chien-Ming Wang suffered a hamstring injury midway through spring training, with Detwiler in the bullpen. It is not known for certain that Detwiler will join the Nationals’ rotation, but he is the only plausible candidate.

Detwiler, a former first round pick, has more raw stuff, including a fastball in the mid-90s, than Lannan. But Lannan, having thrown more than 180 innings three of the past four years, has more of a track record.

With Detwiler out of the bullpen, the Nationals will be able to give opening day spots to both Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus. Chad Durbin had been in the running, but the Braves announced this afternoon they have signed him to a major league deal, which means he opted out of his minor league contract with the Nationals.

General Manager Mike Rizzo did not immediately respond to a text message.

More to come when available.

Show Comments
Washington Post Subscriptions

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

A limited time offer for Apple Pay users.

Buy with
Cancel anytime

$9.99/month after the two month trial period. Sales tax may apply.
By subscribing you agree to our Terms of Service, Digital Products Terms of Sale & Privacy Policy.

Get 2 months of digital access to The Washington Post for just 99¢.

Most Read
Read stories based on reporting for “Trump Revealed,” a broad, comprehensive biography of the life of the president-elect.


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing