Rob Biertempfel reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in left-hander John Lannan. The lefty was recently non-tendered by the Washington Nationals, and Biertempfel speculates that he could take a one year, $3 M deal.
Lannan isn’t the most attractive free agent option, but I’ve always felt he would make sense for the Pirates due to PNC Park. He’s got Zach Duke-like strikeout numbers, with a 4.7 K/9 in his career. However, he’s a lefty with an extreme ground ball rate. He was 56.9% last year in 32.2 innings, 54.1% in 184.2 innings in 2011, and 53% for his career. He’s also an innings eater, throwing 180 innings or more every year since 2008. Last year he threw 32.2 innings in the majors, and 148.2 innings in Triple-A, being stuck in the lower level due to a strong Washington rotation.
He would only be a back of the rotation guy, but would be a better option than Vin Mazzaro or Zach Stewart. His groundball rate would fit in well at PNC, and would probably allow him to put up numbers similar to his career 4.01 ERA. His innings would also help.