Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE
If the Pirates are interested in John Lannan, it likely isn't to take Jeff Karstens' spot in the rotation.
Non-tendering Jeff Karstens and then signing former Nationals pitcher John Lannan to replace him would be a punch in the gut to Pirates fans. Rob Biertempfel reports the Pirates are thinking about something like that, but I'm not sure he's right.
To fill the No. 4 spot in their rotation, the Pirates have expressed interest in free-agent lefty John Lannan. They’ve liked him for a while, actually — and I should have a clearer picture this afternoon about how high he is on their wish list.
I would think/hope that Lannan would be lower on the Pirates' list than Biertempfel thinks. Biertempfel thinks Lannan will make $3 million; I can't imagine he'd get nearly that much after a year in which he mostly pitched at Class AAA, and didn't pitch particularly well, striking out just 86 batters in 148.2 innings. (Biertempfel also calls Lannan "a fly-ball pitcher," which is wrong.) There's no problem with the Pirates acquiring Lannan, but it should be for Class AAA depth, not to replace Karstens. Passing on Karstens at $4 million and then signing Lannan at $3 million would be ridiculous. I would be shocked if the Pirates didn't see it the same way.