The rumblings surrounding the eventual fate of John Lannan continue to pop up every once in awhile, perhaps a good sign that other organizations continue to have some level of interest in acquiring him. However, once again there doesn’t appear to be a deal close to being in the works.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has heard that both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Colorado Rockies have inquired about the potential cost of acquiring the veteran left-hander who not only lost his roster spot but has generally fallen out of favor within the organization thanks to his trade request. Lannan, 27, is still owed roughly $3.5 Million for the remainder of the season. He will be arbitration eligible for the final time this winter, meaning he could be under team control for next year if an acquiring team feels comfortable paying him a raise on his $5 Million salary.
The Dodgers interest is not a complete surprise, as they are likely checking in with teams on any number of fronts. They’ve been atop the NL West most of the season, despite the injuries keeping Matt Kemp out of the lineup, but have been plugging together makeshift lineups for much of that time. There have been reports the team is looking for middle infield help and depth across the pitching staff. Enter Lannan. He would particularly fit their need for someone capable of starting with Ted Lilly‘s recent injury, though he could return later this month.
The problem here is the Dodgers don’t have much to offer right now. It’s unclear what the Nationals are looking for in return for Lannan. Presumably the return won’t be anything of significance unless the Nationals offer to pay the entirety of Lannan’s remaining salary. The Dodgers do have some newfound financial flexibility with this new ownership group but that doesn’t mean they will just throw money away. Rosenthal says talks between the two teams have been “only preliminary”.
Colorado’s interest is largely in the same vein, as they are seeking additional pitching depth in light of their recent release of Jamie Moyer. They were “turned away by the price”, according to Rosenthal and have been linked to former Rockie Jeff Francis, who was also released recently.
Lannan has been largely inconsistent at Triple-A this season, posting a 4-5 record, 5.62 ERA, and 1.661 WHIP since asking the organization to trade him in late March when the team optioned him to the minor leagues. Should he turn his season around in the coming weeks, it could go a long way towards his desire for a fresh start.