At least 6 inquired, but Nats not anxious to meet Lannan request for trade

NEW YORK -- Bad news for demoted Nationals pitcher John Lannan. His team is not anxious to meet his request to be dealt.

Nats GM Mike Rizzo indicated as much, telling, "We haven't changed one bit. We're not looking to trade him. We haven't solicited any trades, but we have fielded some calls. We feel he's a solid major-league starting pitcher. But we feel we have five guys who are better than him. At the same time, we feel he can help us at some point this year.''

The Orioles, Cubs, Tigers, Red Sox, Astros and Tigers are among teams that have expressed interest in Lannan, who is indeed a solid starter (he went 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA last year) but who had a minor-league option left. His $5-million salary is an impediment to a deal, as teams don't want to give up a decent prospect while expanding their budget. The Tigers lost Doug Fister to a side injury and are using Duane Below in his place but thus far they haven't seemed gung-ho about adding Lannan.

A rumored trade of Lannan to the Cubs for center fielder Marlon Byrd does not appear to have much traction.

The Nationals have a deeper stash of starters than most teams, but right now Chien-Ming Wang is out with a hamstring issue and ace Stephen Strasburg is expected to be limited to 150 innings ("150 spectacular innings,'' corrected the Nats' Jayson Werth).

"We're going to make a good prudent baseball trade or we'll just keep him,'' Rizzo said of Lannan. "He's helped us in the past, and we feel he will help us in the future.''

So for now, Lannan and the Nats remain married, even if it isn't completely happily.

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