John Lannan’s time in Washington may finally be at a close. The experienced lefty, who spent most of his season toiling away in the minors, is expected to be traded or non-tendered this offseason, according to “people familiar with the Nationals’ thinking.” Indeed, an article from the Washington Times earlier today suggests that a non-tender later this month is expected.

Lannan, 28, is arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2013, and made $5 million in 2012. He didn’t add much Major League service time in 2012 (he was mostly up for just September), but he’d still probably see a raise to about $6 million. The Nationals will be determining, between now and the end of November (non-tender deadline), whether a $6 million Lannan has any trade value, or whether they should just let him go.

Either way, the Cubs are almost certainly going to explore that option, though waiting out the non-tender deadline is the obvious preference.

Lannan didn’t pitch all that well in the minors (4.30 ERA, 1.439 WHIP, 1.72 K/BB in 148.2 innings), but it was under pretty unique circumstances – until his demotion, he’d been a 104 ERA+ pitcher for four straight seasons as a starter in Washington. The advanced metrics have never been particularly kind to Lannan (FIP in the 4.50 range (but improving each year), and a WAR around just 1.3), but neither have they ever suggested he couldn’t be a serviceable back-end starter in the bigs (at the worst).

Lannan could be a fit for the Cubs for another reason: he’s a groundball-inducing lefty. The nature of Wrigley Field – primarily, its friendliness to left-handed power hitters (it tends to be one of the top five each year), and it’s friendliness to everyone on windy days – tends to make it particularly cruel to fly ball pitchers, especially righties. Lannan – like Paul Maholm before him – could find surprising success at Wrigley Field, given his skill set. That he pitches lefty, Lannan could help neutralize those lefty power hitters. And that he is a groundball pitcher could help neutralize some of the other homers.

Further, with a Gold Glover at second base, a probable future Gold Glover at first base, and a possible future Gold Glover at short, the Cubs might actually be fairly well built for a groundball pitcher in 2013.

When considering everything, together with the likely slim cost, I could be into Lannan as one of the Cubs’ pitching additions this offseason.

  • Salad23

    This is the guy I would love the cubs to get. You pretty much nailed all the reasons why. Plus we can trade him in July for prospects. I think he is a decent number 3 starter and with our team he would be far and away the third best starting pitcher on this team.

    • TonyP

      I don’t think he is a number 3 but I would take a shot at him if he is non-tendered.

  • http://deleted Mr. Gonzo

    How about YES!?! Love this idea.

  • Max

    I absolutely love the idea of signing Lannan. Think he could be more of a long term back end rotation guy than a short term flip at midsession. Been a big fan if him since he was at Siena. Always underrated and undervalued

  • daveyrosello

    Meh. I’d rather spend similar money on a more bankable upside like Baker.

  • Luke

    I’d sign lefty ground ball pitchers all day, every day. Give me a rotation chock full of those types with a good-to-great infield defense, and it won’t take that much offense to hit.500.

    I’m not sure where the Cubs will find that offense, but that’s a different story.

  • trevor


  • Melrosepad

    I’d rather go after two pitchers who barely walk anyone in Jeff Francis and J.D. Martin. I know both had high ERA last season, but at least for Martin it looked out of place compared to his other seasons. Plus as a minor league free agent he should come very cheap. I think he would be a decent person to give a shot to for the 4th or 5th spot.

    I’ve been a fan of Francis for a while but he has always been a pitcher who allowed a high amount of hits. If he is cheap, I’d say lets do it.

  • CubFan Paul

    the message links on the side of the page go straight to an ad page and not the message board

    • Brett

      The Recent Message Board links? It goes to the board for me. What ad is it taking you to?

  • Deez

    I live in DC. I don’t see Lannan getting away, but I thought the Cubs would have went after him last year at the Deadline for Dempster. They will probably lose Jackson this year, so, they have a spot available in their rotation. That being said, I would like to have Lannan too!

  • scorecardpaul

    for me, it will not let me open the links. When I click on them like I normally do it takes me to a page that looks like this
    Jump to content

    Sign In Create Account
    Search Advanced
    Search section:
    This topic
    This forum
    Help Files

    View New Content Bleacher Nation ForumsMembers Calendar More Bleacher Nation Message Board | Chicago Cubs Forum → Chicago Cubs → The Bleachers
    Recent Topics

    Be Prepared For Awesomeness
    Luke – Today, 07:18 PM

    Cubs should sign Scott Baker. Here’s why:
    Mike Taylor (no relation) – Today, 05:28 PM

    Cubs Calendar 11/8/12 – Grace
    Fishin Phil – Today, 05:14 AM

    Jason Parks 670 Interview
    T C – Yesterday, 11:52 PM

    International Space Station
    TWC – Yesterday, 03:40 PM
    Bleacher Nation Posts
    How About Targeting John Lannan?
    Today, 07:10 PM
    Bids on Korean Pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu Were Due Today at 4pm CT
    Today, 05:05 PM
    The Obligatory Justin Upton Post: He’s Available, Again
    Today, 01:33 PM
    Theo and Jed Speak from the GM Meetings: Free Agents, Trades, Marmol, Samardzija
    Today, 11:54 AM
    Episode 3 of the Now-Named Podcast: Top Prospects and a New Name for Wrigley Field?
    Today, 10:05 AM
    Sponsors and BN on the Web

    Bleacher Nation is on Facebook, and you should totally “Like” us:

    Bleacher Nation is also on Twitter, and you should totally follow us:

    Upcoming Calendar Events
    There are no forthcoming calendar events 0 Birthday(s) Today
    No members are celebrating a birthday today


    Cubs should sign Scott Baker. Here’s why:
    Started By Mike Taylor (no relation), Today, 05:28 PM

    You cannot reply to this topic
    1 reply to this topic #1 Mike Taylor (no relation)
    Bleacher Bum


    23 posts
    LocationLouisville, KY

    Posted Today, 05:28 PM

    1) High SO/BB ratio.
    2) Career high of 12.5% HR/FB in 2006.
    3) FIP consistently lowering year-by-year.
    4) Excellent fielder.
    5) High LOB% of 70.5 – 79.4.
    6) HR/9 around 1.0 – 1.20.

    All of this achieved with a pretty high BABIP. I guess the only knock on him is that he is not a ground ball pitcher. But, popular to belief, the wind blows in most of the time at Wrigley.

    He is the perfect flip candidate. I think he will fetch the Paul Maholm contract. $4.25M 1 year, $6.25M 2nd year option w/buyout.

    Like This Unlike Back to top

    #2 fromthemitten
    Bleacher Bum


    459 posts
    LocationSalisbury, MD

    Posted Today, 05:39 PM

    I read this as Jeff Baker first and I was like

    Like This Unlike Back to top




    Back to The Bleachers · Next Unread Topic →

    1 user(s) are reading this topic
    0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

    Reply to quoted posts Clear

    Bleacher Nation is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago National League Ballclub (that’s the Cubs).

    Bleacher Nation Message Board | Chicago Cubs Forum → Chicago Cubs → The Bleachers Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
    Mark Community Read
    Forums Mark all as read Help Community Forum Software by IP.Board 3.2.1

    • Brett

      Did you try clearing your cache?

      • Tim

        Hey Brett I’m commenting on my iPhone now but everytime I try to load the site on my computer it forwards itself to another site called I use Internet explorer also

        • jt

          my laptop’s, which I hardly use, access to the site is fine. My PC takes me to a strange page.
          Must be a cookie of some sort?

        • Mark

          I was getting the same thing on my laptop last night.

  • Carne Harris

    I’m not crazy about this. His WHIP’s too high. Wood’s was high the year before we got him too (1.491) but he’d at least shown a low year in 2010 (1.081) then made good this year (1.199). Lannan never has and in fact his career average is close to Wood’s bad year (1.424). Triple A depth maybe if we can get him cheap, but I’d like to see us pick a couple different SPs and have Wood as our #5.

  • JR

    Haha John Lannan.

    • Carne Harris

      I read that in the Phil Ken Sebben voice.

      • cubchymyst

        Harvey Birdman Attorney at Law

  • jesus zuniga

    Tom gorzalany.justin masterson.kelvin slowley

  • cheryl

    Brett, Had to go to Nortnand hopefully they got rid of that virus permanently for me.

  • cheryl

    Brett, Itdid start to go into that thing again. Norton seems to think it has to do with one of your advertisrs.

    • Luke

      It’s definitely an advertiser.

    • DoubleDown

      Yes. It is an advertiser.

  • Internet Random

    Nice one, Bert. Very informative.

  • Noah

    On the one hand, I look at Lannan and see someone who could be another Paul Maholm, although he walks a significantly higher number of hitters than Maholm.

    On the other hand, wouldn’t the Nationals have traded Lannan if they could have gotten something significant for him? Whereas Maholm is someone who is more of a solid 4 in a rotation for me due to him not walking hitters and inducing a lot of ground balls, Lannan is a 5 or swingman for me on a good team.

    • DoubleDown

      What are you saying? We should have kept him?

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    There is about 8 other options I would chose before Lannan to be in our rotation. Not much “flip-ability.” I don’t think I would even want him in the rotation when the cubs get good again. Don’t get me wrong he’s not a bad pitcher but I really see no point in the cubs trying to acquire him unless he is one of the last options. He’s a filler #5 on a good rotation

  • steve

    I would like this addition. Fact is we are not gonna be adding any star ace pitchers, Lannon is exactly the type of guys we are gonna add to the rotation. He may walk guys but he’s a groundball pitcher, lefty, and he can come here to resurrect his career. I think he could give us results similar to what we got from Maholm, then flip him by the deadline. I like Baker, however,he give up a lot of HR’s, so I would be concerned about his being a bad fit for the cubs. I kinda like Marcum, but he almost always seems to be hurt. I kinda hope we add a young starter thru trade, but admittingly I haven’t looked into who we may be able to add.

  • Eric

    If he’s pitching depth for the minors, fine. But we have enough 4/5 starters what we need to be adding is true #1 ace pitchers or #2’s or core positional players in the caliber of Rizzo. We don’t need to be worrying about middling players. If Theo won’t be targeting top end talent this year then this is gonna be a very boring year until the draft and trade deadline.

  • Lou

    Why can’t we add someone we could actually keep? If Tigers re-up with Sanchez or for that matter sign Lohse, Porcello is expendable. He’s younger, induces GB, and could be kept, instead of spending more on Lannan in effort to try to flip him. If the Cubs want to go after someone cheap from DC, maybe they should conside Zach Duke instead of Lannan. But when you have the logic of this FO, anyone added should be flippable, not added because they might actually help the team in the coming years.

    • DoubleDown

      Why didn’t we keep Maholm?

      • Lou

        How fortuitous it was that Malholm’s season fell into our laps to be traded? What exactly are you saying???

      • Lou

        Besides, if you’re worried about giving up prospects–if Jurrjens gets non-tendered I’d rather have him in our rotation than Lannan.

  • the jackal

    correct me if im wrong but i read somewhere where they have smaller baseballs over there to help grips with there smaller hands.. that wouldnt affect him to much would it?

    • King Jeff

      I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything about using different equipment over there. I’m pretty sure that all of the international leagues play using the same rules and regulations as everyone else.

      • Cubbie Blues

        They do now. They went to international rules a couple of years ago. Before that, yes, they did use smaller balls.

  • Ryan

    ESPN says we put an offer out to Francisco Liriano. Not sure the details yet…

  • Stevie B

    “Their smaller hands”….that’s funny.

    Hong Kong Phooey!!!!!

  • MightyBear

    If they can get Lannan for nothing but money, they should definitely pick him up. The Cubs need pitching. They just picked up Zach Putnam. Lannan certainly wouldn’t hurt.

    • CubFan Paul

      Lannan wasn’t good enough to be the Nats 5th starter last year. Pass. We don’t need another Volstad or Wells. Theo&Co are trying to upgrade the rotation from last year not stay the same.

      • Brett

        “Theo&Co are trying to upgrade the rotation from last year not stay the same.”

        You sure about that?

        • TonyP

          “Theo&Co are trying to upgrade the rotation from last year not stay the same.”

          “You sure about that?”

          The fact that that is a real question makes we want to weep. :-(

        • CubFan Paul

          “You sure about that?”

          meaning what?

          • TonyP

            They want a shitty rotation filled with more buy low/flippable pieces so we can suck nuts again and get a better draft position and more money to spend on International prospects. At least that is what I took from it.

            • CubFan Paul

              ‘They want a shitty rotation filled with more buy low/flippable pieces’

              a rotation of Garza, Shark, Marcum, Liriano & Scott Baker would not be shitty. signing Maholm and trading him for Vizcaino upgraded the rotation. signing the likes of Baker, Liriano, & Marcum and trading them to contenders for 3 more Arodys Vizcainos will also upgrade the rotation.

              after the trades we should have more than enough talented depth to fill the holes for two months -Shark, Wood, Vizcaino, then the young ML ready pitching acquired from the trades of Garza, Soriano, Baker, Liriano, and Marcum

              thats what i meant by ‘Theo&Co are trying to upgrade the rotation from last year not stay the same.’

              • hansman1982

                It’s a two steps forward one step back approach. Unfortunately that approach does not always equal 2 steps forward, sometimes it’s 1, sometimes it’s 0.

                • CubFan Paul

                  Ookay…it’s not my approach, it’s Theo&Co.’s

                  I know how baseball works.

                  • hansman1982

                    I wasn’t attacking or bashing. Just boiling down.

              • TonyP

                Marcum is above average, Baker didn’t pitch at all last year and Liriano has not been very good for 2 years. I probably shouldn’t have used the term shitty. If those 3 all pan out to what they can potentially be, then yes it would be okay.

              • DoubleDown

                Whoa. The jury is still deliberating on Vizcaino. To say Vizcaino was an “upgrade” is very premature. To say you would take 3 more Vizcaino’s is really rolling the dice.

          • cubchymyst

            I worry about the second half of the season if that is the case. First half the team was bad but they were on pace to finish better than in 2011. Second half it was awful and it started with the starting rotation.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Lannan wasn’t good enough to be the Nats 5th starter last year.

        True. However, a lot of MLB starters on other teams were not good enough to be the Nats’ 5th starter last year: they had a very good staff, after all.

        Lannan probably would be better than the #5 starters (who usually are a committee, anyway) on most teams. That’s not necessarily a ringing endorsement, of course, but all staffs are not equal.

  • nkniacc13

    Brett who are some other posiable nontender canidates that the Cubs could be interested?

  • Pingback: Potentially Interesting Non-Tenders: Lannan, Pelfrey, Jurrjens, Torres, Sweeney, Reynolds, Wilson, Others | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary()