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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 01/17/2011

Nationals avoid arbitration with John Lannan

By Adam Kilgore

The Nationals will avoid arbitration with left-handed starting pitcher John Lannan after agreeing on a one-year contract worth $2.75 million, according to a major league source.

Lannan, 26, was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason. The Nationals' opening day starter for the past two seasons, he went 8-8 with a 4.65 ERA. Lannan bounced back after a midseason demotion to Class AA Harrisburg, going 6-3 with a 3.42 ERA in his final 11 starts of the season following his return to the majors.

The Nationals are expected to reach agreements with outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse and left-handed reliever Doug Slaten, their final two players eligible for arbitration, before going to a hearing.

By Adam Kilgore  | January 17, 2011; 3:00 PM ET
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Next: Nationals trade for Tom Gorzelanny



This was smart!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | January 17, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Gorzelanny for three prospects. The only one named so far is Michael Burgess.

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | January 17, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Adam, can you post something about the reported Gorzelanny trade?

Posted by: Natsgal | January 17, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Bill James projections:

Tom Gorzelanny:
7-8, 4.06. 28 games, 26 starts, 133 IP, 56 BB, 106 K

Scouting report:

Gorzelany has a herky-jerky delivery (turns his back to the hitters to create deception), and throws from a high 3/4s arm slot. He throws 88-92 (velocity has been more in the 90s since coming over to the Cubs), a solid change-up that runs down and away from righties, and both a slider and curveball (he utilizes his slider a lot more, throwing his curve only a few times a game). He's a fly ball pitcher who has swing and miss stuff but also has inconsistent command and has struggled with walks previously.

Another ex-Pirate top pitching prospect like Jimmy Barthmaier.

Here's a guy who went to the bullpen when asked by the Cubs.(see Scott Olsen's response). Last year he seemed solid and did the job for the Cubs. He did pitch over 200 innings once for the Pirates in 2007.

Fan graphs compares relative improvement after the trade to that of Oliver Perez.

"Control seems like the biggest issue going forward with Gorzelanny. His walk rate, 4.63 per nine, can continue to hold him back, though he does make up for it by striking out a ton of hitters, 9.13 per nine this year, and keeping the ball inside the park, partly the effect of his 43.8 percent groundball rate. That’s not stellar, but it’s very good for a pitcher who strikes out more than a batter per inning. His walk rate is a bit better when looking at him only as a starter, 4.23 per nine, but even that will have to improve if he’s going to fulfill his promise as a No. 2 starter."

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Who are the two pitchers going to the Cubs.

Posted by: Juliasdad | January 17, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Moving Burgess makes sense...with the Werth signing and with Corey Brown in the fold and with Eury Perez looking like a good prospect, Burgess was expendible, IMO. As for the pitchers, I don't see it being anyone we will seriously miss.
Any thoughts on who the pitchers may be?

Posted by: TimDz | January 17, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Lannan is our best pitcher in 2011. You heard it here.

Posted by: Barno1 | January 17, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Well done, periculum. Now, what do you think of the acquisition? His stats from last year look decent (in a hitters park, right?). Agree with TimDz on Burgess.

Posted by: fpcsteve27 | January 17, 2011 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Nats Rotation:



Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 17, 2011 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Well done, periculum. Now, what do you think of the acquisition? His stats from last year look decent (in a hitters park, right?). Agree with TimDz on Burgess."

Still a work in progress. Remember, he also had success in a hitters park in Pittsburg. He pitched 200 innings started 32 games, 19 quality starts, 1 CG and 1 SHO in 2007 with a 14-10 record.

Other than Livo can you name anyone the Nats have in their rotation who had done that? Anyone?

The Pirates and Cubs have been alternating him between the bullpen and starting in 2009 and 2010 although he did start 23 in 2010. That won't happen with the Nats.

He needs to work on his control (it has improved) and keeping the ball in the ballpark. If he does that he is a bonafide #2 slot starter.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Burgess is not someone who Rizzo would deem athletic enough to play in his outfield. That's for certain. He barely tolerates Morse!

I suspect Milone and another soft tosser were the pitchers.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 3:47 PM | Report abuse

That's a fairly old group starting at Syracuse. No one you can really talk about as a prospect except Detwiler.

Wang at 30 seems like damaged goods. Maya's fastball and control were much less than advertised coming over from Cuba.

Chico and Martin are career AAA type pitchers.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | January 17, 2011 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Gorzelanny = LH Spot starter / Long relief competition for RH Stammen & LH Chico is my initial 'gut' response. I wonder how much (and who) Rizzo gives up for him beyond Burgess; Hope it's not much.

Posted by: BinM | January 17, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

There is still a problem with the 40-man roster depending on who the pitcher[s] are?

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Ladson tweeted that AJ Morris was one of the pitchers...

Posted by: TimDz | January 17, 2011 3:59 PM | Report abuse

correction: golden spikes not silver spikes.

Posted by: periculum | January 17, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

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