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Pirates rumors: Bucs interested in John Lannan

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If the Pirates are interested in John Lannan, it likely isn't to take Jeff Karstens' spot in the rotation.

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

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.

Biertempfel also says the Orioles "might be interested" in Garrett Jones, and that some teams are concerned about Joel Hanrahan's conditioning.