Interesting rumor that surfaced today: MASN’s Roch Kubatko tweeted that the Nats offered four players over the winter for centerfielder Adam Jones. Those four players reportedly were John Lannan, Steve Lombardozzi, Drew Storen and an unnamed “center fielder.” You’d have to guess the CF was lower-end, certainly not Eury Perez or Brian Goodwin (I’m not even sure we CAN trade Goodwin yet; there’s a set amount of time that has to pass before you can trade recently drafted guys). The only other two starting CFs in the minors right now are Michael Taylor (our high-A center fielder) and AAA’s Corey Brown. If I had to guess it would have been Brown, given his removal from the 40-man and his general struggles.
No time-frame was offered for this proposed trade; was it before or after the team swung the Gio Gonzalez deal? If this was before, you wonder if we end up making the Gonzalez deal (probably; there’s no overlap in players and we’d have really needed another starter). If this was after, perhaps it indicates how little the organization thought of Lannan even before the events of spring unfolded.
The articles make it seem that this would have been disastrous for the O’s: Lannan is stinking it up in AAA and Storen is hurt. Its hard not to agree. But I’d look at it another way; this would have been three 25-man roster guys plus a 4th OF (assuming it was Brown) who looks like he’s turning it around. I think Lannan is a serviceable 5th starter in this league and just got caught in a numbers game out of spring, and that he’s better than he’s pitching in AAA. At the time of this deal we wouldn’t have known that Lombardozzi would have this hot start; we only knew that he was young and seemed over-matched last September.
A concern in this story to me is the mention of Storen in the talks. This is now the 2nd or 3rd time we’ve seen his name mentioned as being trade bait (one other that comes to mind was the proposed Zack Greinke trade. At some point Storen is going to stop being the team player he clearly is now and become jaded, knowing that his front office is actively trying to get rid of him.
Nonetheless: Jones for that clutch of players seems like it is a steal for the Nats in hindsight. If this deal had been swung, we’d certainly have a different look to the offense, but would be struggling with some serious depth holes right now (as if we aren’t already).