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Nationals Winter Meeting Update: Nationals looking at starting pitchers, Willing to lock up Lannan

-According to a tweet from the Washington Times Ben Goessling, one executive he talked to expects the Nationals to sign their staff ace John Lannan to a long term deal sometime this season. Lannan, 25, finished with a 9-13 record to go with a 3.88 ERA.

Washington would like to have the young John Lannan signed long terms to be part of their (re?)building efforts. Lannan should be the veteran ace to go with a group of young prospects rising through the system which include Jordan Zimmermann, Ross Detwiler, and recently drafted Stephen Strasburg.

-Dave Sheinen of The Washington Post reported that both the Washington Nationals and veteran starter Livan Hernandez would be interested in reaching a deal that would bring Livan back to Washington for another year.

Hernandez, 34, went 2-4 with a 5.36 ERA for the Nationals in 2009 after signing in August. Hernandez was also the centerpiece of the Nationals first starting rotation as he was the clubs ace in 2005 and 2006. While Hernandez best days are far behind him, the Nationals likely want to sign the starter to serve one purpose, eat innings. In his 13 year career, Hernandez has pitched 2734.2 innings, averaging 225 per season. He has led the league in innings pitched three times; 2003, 2004, and 2005, his only three full seasons as a member of the Expos/Nationals franchise.

-According to Chico Harlan of Nationals Journal, Washington has met their needs of acquiring both a bullpen arm, and solid catcher. These goals were accomplished with the signing of Rodriguez and the trade for Bruney. The club will now set their sights on starting pitching. On their list:

 

  • Jon Garland
  • Jarrod Washburn
  • John Smoltz
  • Ben Sheets
  • Joel Pinero
  • Vicente Padilla
  • Jason Marquis
  • John Lackey
  • Rich Harden
  • Livan Hernandez
-Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Mets are likely to step up their efforts to attain either Nationals’ outfielder Josh Willingham or Angels’ outfielder Juan Rivera.
The Mets would rather make a big splash by signing free agents Matt Holliday or Jason Bay, but consider Willingham and Rivera more cost-effective solutions. Willingham hit .260 with 24 homers in 2009, and is a free agent after next season.
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