It's just a tough thing. We're not trading him, though. We're keeping him. He's a good big-league pitcher.
Rizzo responded similarly, saying:
I've known John Lannan a long time. He's an ultra competitive person. And he's frustrated and upset and mad. If he was any other way, I would wonder about him. This guy has been a solid contributor to this franchise for a long time. He's a good, solid starting pitcher in the big leagues. Unfortunately, it was a conversation that we had about a roster spot that we felt we had five guys better than him.
I trust John Lannan is going to be an ultra-professional like he's been throughout his career in Washington. The last thing I told him was that you're going to help us in the big leagues this year, or you're going to help somebody in the big leagues this year. That was the final statement that I made to him.
Lannan emailed a number of reporters Wednesday night to say that he had requested a trade from Washington after the Nationals optioned him to AAA Syracuse Tuesday after the team's final exhibition game. Lannan had drawn what Rizzo described as "mild" interest in spring training, but potential trade partners have balked at Lannan's $5 million contract.
Meanwhile, Dave Sheinin of The Washington Post reports that Lannan has reported to Syracuse. The Sky Chiefs open their season Thursday against the Rochester Red Wings.
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