WASHINGTON -- The Nationals are still looking for a taker for left-hander John Lannan, but it is nearly impossible to trade him, according to a baseball source. It hasn't helped that Lannan is off to a slow start with Triple-A Syracuse.
Entering Wednesday's action, Lannan has allowed nine earned runs in six innings. Another factor in Lannan's low trade appeal is that opposing teams don't want to take on the left-hander's $5 million salary, especially since a lot of teams consider Lannan no more than a fifth starter. As one opposing executive put it, "teams would rather use a low-paid Minor Leaguer for the fifth spot before dealing with Lannan's money."
Pitching coach Steve McCatty believes Lannan will bounce back and become the pitcher who led the Nationals in wins with 10 last year.
"He is mentally tough, I think," McCatty said. "I know it is really tough. My experience tells me that. I've been through it, and it's hard to do. Again, if you are not mentally tough in this game, it will eat you alive. I think he will be able to handle it. He understands the situation. Hopefully, he will go out and have a great game. He is a quality pitcher."