But it’s not like the Nationals need to trade him. They can’t afford to give him away, and teams might not go for their asking price, considering Lannan makes $5 million.
Plus, if Stephen Strasburg is on an innings limit of 160 this season, Lannan might be needed late in the season.
Every team needs pitching, but Lannan isn’t the kind of pitcher a rebuilding team, such as the Houston Astros, would go for. It seems Lannan is the type for a contender.
Here’s the rundown:
* Boston is in a pitching bind. The Red Sox have untested Felix Doubront and reliever-turned-starter Daniel Bard at the back of the rotation. Closer Andrew Bailey is injured, so they could get Lannan for the rotation and move Bard back to the bullpen.
* Toronto could use another experienced starter behind Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow and Dustin McGowan, especially if prospects Henderson Alvarez and Kyle Drabek don’t progress.
* Kansas City could be a destination. The Royals have the offense, but they are counting on Bruce Chen, Jonathan Sanchez and Luke Hochevar to lead the rotation. Lannan could help the Royals push toward a winning record.
* Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee, could use a guy like Lannan. But if any of those teams acquired him, he’d be valued depth, but virtually in the same position he’s in with the Nationals. The Dodgers’ first four are Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang.
* In the American League West, the Texas Rangers aren’t likely go after Lannan, but the Los Angeles Angels, even with a deep rotation, might be looking for a No. 5 behind Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana, Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson.
* Does Detroit need a fifth starter to follow Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister? They’ve got prospects that can fill that role, so it seems unlikely the Tigers would make a move for Lannan.
* Speculation is that the Orioles will go after Lannan. If the rotation shows improvement early, the chances of Lannan moving to Baltimore dwindle. If the rotation doesn’t show improvement, maybe the Orioles call the Nationals.