This is probably one option John Lannan didn’t want picked up.
The Washington Nationals’ opening day starter for the past two seasons is getting a demotion to Triple-A.
Instead of climbing onto the mound of Wrigley Field, he will make the lonely trot to the hill at Syracuse for the Chiefs, the Nats’ minor-league affiliate according to the Nationals’ team website, having been unable to make it onto the 25-man roster.
The Chaminade alumni had been thought a shoo-in for the last spot in Washington’s rotation after former Yankee Chien-Ming Wang strained his left hamstring in a spring training game against the Bombers on March 15.
Washington is instead going with Ross Detwiler in the number five slot. Detwiler had a 3.06 ERA during spring training as compared to Lannan’s 5.14. The “Pride of Long Beach” had a 4.15 ERA his rookie year and was credited with a career-high 10 wins during the 2011 season with a 3.70 ERA, also a career-best in 33 game appearances.
According to the Nationals’ website:
The Nationals also came to the conclusion that Lannan couldn't handle a role in the bullpen, which is why right-hander Craig Stammen made the team. Even though Stammen is a starter by trade, he has been able to make an adjustment to being a long reliever.
Lannan was the subject of as Washington tried to shop the lefty to Pittsburgh and Detroit, but there were no takers for the amount the third-place Nats were asking, namely a starter.
According to reports, manager Davey Johnson said that Lannan “took the news hard” and is now “a very luxurious insurance policy.”
It’s not all bad for the 2002 Flyer. Lannan’s reported salary for the 2012 season is $5 million, making him the the highest-paid player in history to be optioned to the minors before the end of spring training according to the Washington Post.