On the eve of the Washington Nationals season opener, pitcher John Lannan has asked to be traded, according to an email sent to members of the media Wednesday evening.
John Lannan releases statement saying he told [Nationals GM] Mike Rizzo "a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term."— Mark Zuckerman (@MarkZuckerman) April 4, 2012
Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post published Lannan's statement in full. It is reproduced below.
I know everyone wants to ask me about yesterday's news, so I wanted to make sure I got back to you.
I am certainly disappointed in the Nationals' decision. I met with Mike Rizzo for the second time since I received the news to tell him exactly how I feel, and my agent has also spoken to Mike. I know what my rights and the team's rights are, and while I am still a member of the Washington Nationals organization, I let Mike know that I believe a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term.
I believe that I belong in a big-league rotation. I am a proven major-league starting pitcher, with a track record of success.
I appreciate all the opportunities the Nationals organization has given me throughout the years. I've done a lot for this organization through some tough times. I anticipated on being part of the team's next exciting chapter. If the Nationals feel they don't need me or want me with the current make-up of the team, I can respect their decision. However, I'm very confident that I am capable of making a meaningful contribution to a major-league team.
This transaction will not change who I am or how I approach my business. I will continue to prepare myself for the season and look forward to the opportunity to pitch for a major-league team in the near future. I appreciate the space that you have given me over the past 24 hours. This will be the last time that I make any public comments on yesterday's transaction or my future with the Nationals' organization. My focus from here on out will be on playing the game that I love and demonstrating the professionalism that I have exhibited throughout my career. Thank you again for your patience since yesterday's announcement.
Lannan was a central figure in numerous trade rumors during spring training, with the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers rumored to have the most interest. Tuesday afternoon, during the Nationals' final spring training game, news broke that the Nationals planned to option Lannan to AAA Syracuse, a move that was made official after the game. Ross Detwiler will take Lannan's presumed slot in the starting rotation. The left-hander is slated to make $5 million this season.
Washington opens its 2012 season against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field Thursday afternoon against the Chicago Cubs. First pitch is scheduled for 2:20 p.m.
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