The Washington Nationals have reportedly declined to offer pitcher John Lannan a contract for 2013. If true, he will become a free agent.
Lannan, the Nationals' Opening Day starter in both 2009 and 2010, spent much of last season laboring in triple-A after signing for $5 million to avoid arbitration. The Nationals' rotation was packed with quality pitchers likes of Stephen Strasburg, Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson, so Lannan was unluckily the odd-man out. He pitched adequately in the minors, posting a 4.30 ERA in 24 starts before being called up to the big leagues. He made six starts for the Nats down the stretch and notched a 4.13 ERA.
The 28-year-old Lannan could draw some interest on the free agent market. He does not strike out many batters and gives up a fair amount of walks, but his career 53% ground ball rate is solidly above-average. Teams looking for low-cost starting pitching like the Royals and Indians could give him a call.