While the Nationals just did some shuffling with their pitching staff, they may be looking to make another move via trade. ESPN's Buster Olney has reported the Nats are looking to acquire a veteran relief pitcher and that starter John Lannan could be the player they send in return.
Olney Tweeted this on Sunday:
The Nationals are actively seeking a veteran relief pitcher, and are dangling demoted starter John Lannan as possible trade bait. Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 27, 2012
Lannan has been discussed in many trade rumors this season after his demotion to Triple-A Syracuse. The Nationals chose Ross Detwiler to fill in for Chien-Ming Wang as their fifth starter even though many had expected Lannan to get the call.
Lannan posted a 3.70 ERA in 184.2 innings last season and seemed to prove his worth as a major league pitcher. It was his third season of the last four in which he held a sub-4.00 ERA and threw at least 180 innings.
The five-year veteran is pitching at Syracuse now and continues to struggle with a 6.12 ERA through nine starts. He is 3-5 in Triple-A this year with 34 earned runs in 50.0 innings pitched. Opponents in the International League have hit .327 off the lefty, not a good sign for his tradability. Keep in mind Lannan is also making 5 million this season.
After his demotion in April, Lannan told reporters he had requested a trade from the Nationals. He still remains with the team, but according to this recent report it appears they would still like to move him in a trade.