To be completely clear, this interview with John Lannan was conducted via phone roughly an hour before the news came through that the Nationals had added right-hander Edwin Jackson to their starting pitching corps — and before the rumors began to swirl that Lannan or one of the Nationals other back-end starters could be on the move via a trade. With that in mind, the interview did not, of course, address those topics.
Here’s some of what Lannan had to say about his arbitration hearing, which he lost but will earn $5 million in 2012, and the Nationals’ offseason moves:
On the arbitration hearing process and the outcome: “(My agent Brodie Van Wagenen) and CAA did an excellent job building my case and CAA did a great job in the hearing room defending my case. Now it’s over and now the business at hand is to go into spring training ready and be ready to play baseball and win.
“I didn’t take anything personally. I knew it was business and that’s what it was. It was a business meeting in front of arbitrators and I didn’t take it personally. I sat there, acted professionally and that’s what it was.
“I’m happy. I’m just glad I have a contract now and I can focus more on pitching… (Me and the Nationals) are on the same page as far as going out there and bringing a winning team to D.C.”
On his offseason and his health: “Everything’s great. I’m really excited to get to spring training. I’m feeling great. Workouts are going good, arm feels great. Knee’s fine. (Lannan tweaked his knee in Sept. in Philadelphia making a diving flip toward home plate) I took a few weeks off and now it’s 100 percent.”
On the Nationals moves this offseason (prior to adding Jackson), namely the addition of Gio Gonzalez to the rotation: “From what I’ve heard and what I’ve seen, that guy can pitch. I’m just excited to bring back a lot of the guys we had last year. We haven’t been able to do that that much in the time I’ve been with the Nationals.”
On how different the Nationals rotation is now from just a few years ago when he was tabbed as Opening Day starter: “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. It should be the way a winning rotation shapes up. I’m going to go in there and I’ve always prided myself on pitching every fifth day and that’s what I’ve been preparing to do. It’s good to have competition and it brings out the best in everybody. I’m happy where it’s at. We’ll see what happens in spring training.”
– One other somewhat related note, it was reported here, as well as other places, yesterday that Edwin Jackson’s one-year deal with the Nationals would be worth “around $10 million” but it appears that new details have emerged to specify that a bit more. According to MLBNetwork Radio’s Jim Duquette, as well as multiple other national reporters, the contract is actually worth $11 million in total but only $9 million of it will be paid to him this season, meaning $2 million has been deferred.