he had a 3.4 (3.58 as a starter) era- how is that only 'above average'?
Compare their 2011 seasons all you want, but Detwiler's 2012 season was better than anything Lannan could put together. He seems that he's finally figuring it all out. Why would you squash that and put him back in the bullpen?
ERA is a poor judge of a pitcher's ability. Lannan posted a 3.70 last year. His FIP was slightly above 4. And when you compare Lannan's 2011 with Detwiler in 2012, they are remarkably similar:
Lannan: 10-13, 184 innings, 3.70 ERA, 4.28 FIP, 5.17 K/9, 3.70 BB/9, 54.1% GB, .73 HR/9
Detwiler: 10-8, 164 innings, 3.40 ERA, 4.04 FIP, 5.75 K/9, 2.85 BB/9, 50.8% GB, .82 HR/9
Detwiler was better, but not by a whole lot. Frankly, I think the gain of having a better bullpen offsets it. Especially since I think Lannan will be improved in 2013. He showed improvement in limited starting time this season. I also think Detwiler over-achieved this season. His BABIP against was .263, which was the 10th best in baseball. I don't see him sustaining that long term, especially as the NL gets more scouting on him and realizes he's basically a one pitch pitcher.
Slate, really? Det in the pen? Lannan number 5 over Det because Det is better in the pen? JZimm was better in the pen. Do you want to place him there as well? Det has starter stuff and still has upside. He would be the best number 5 in MLB with another frontline starter added in the offseason. Grienke or Haren would complement this rotation and make the Nats the rotation to beat in the league. I feel the best course of action is to sign one of Grienke/Haren and sign Madson to a one year pillow contract. Madson provides a veteran arm in the bullpen that has playoff experience. Burnett could easily walk since he has more value on the open market then his option would give him. Trade guys who have some value like Morse and Clippard for relief prospects as they seem to be the biggest need in the Nats system (that is until one of the "starters" that the Nats drafted don't develop at least three pitches).
Do what the Tigers did and strike while the iron is hot and go over the top. The top pitchers will probably demand 80-100 million for four or five years. It's those 7+ year deals that will always come with backlash, and we already have two of those in Werth and Zimm. Spend for a front line guy and a reliever. Look towards what it will take to retain someone like JZimm for three years. If JZimm prices himself out of that, look to trade him next offseason and restock the system with higher end prospects, ala Oakland and Gio.
I posted what I think it would take to get Price. It's pretty hypothetical, but it's at least enough to get the Rays to listen instead of laugh and hang up.
JZ has 1 inning in relief in which he was clearly amped. He's also one of the better starters in the league, so I expect him to look really good. And I wouldn't be against signing Greinke and converting JZ to a closer role if we needed a closer.
I seriously doubt Madson would come here, even if he's looking for a one year, proof of worth deal. Why would he? His only chance of closing is if Storen gets hurt. Meanwhile, there are several teams that will be looking for a closer this season and be willing to spend. God knows the Angels need bullpen help. White Sox may be looking for a closer for the next two or three years until Addison Reed is ready. And the Tigers .... well, I seriously doubt they bring back Valverde. Those are three teams that are not only competitive, but will offer big money AND give him the closer role. One of these things the Nats won't do ....
The Tigers have been in their peak for a year now. The Nationals are just entering theirs. Oh and the Tigers went and gave Fielder exactly the kind of deal you don't want the Nationals to give out.
There is no way Grienke sings for less than 100 million dollars. Cole Hamels got a 7/150+ extension. It will take that to get Grienke. The Angels have an option on Haren. We'll see if they decline it, but I think he signs for Buehrle type money. I'd much rather give that money to JZ. Certainly don't want to trade him in his prime when we're competing. Which we will be. Teams that are in the hunt for the World Series don't trade away their front line starters.