Lannan Is Pitching Unrestricted, Looks Forward To Competing

David Goldman, AP

John Lannan will not go into the fifth-starter competition hamstrung, writes Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

The left-hander, who underwent season-ending surgery last August to repair a large tear in the tendon in his quadriceps, was cleared to work out unrestricted in January and is already throwing off a mound in camp.

“I’ve been working without limits for the last month and a half,” Lannan said. “It feels really good right now. I’m exactly where I need to be. I’m off a mound. I’m ready to compete.” 

Lannan, 29, joins a crowded field that includes Daisuke MatsuzakaJenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom for that fifth spot in the rotation.

“It’s always good to kind of have some young arms and older guys compete for a spot,” Lannan told Rubin.

While I think it will take some doing to wrestle the job away from Mejia, this was a solid signing that could prove very useful when some of our younger pitchers start approaching their innings limits. He brings some veteran experience that may even come in handy should any of our top five become ineffective or miss time with an injury.

(Photo: David Goldman, AP)

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About Joe D 7838 Articles
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  • Hodges14

    If they’re not going to give Syndergaard or Montero a legit shot at making the team in spring training, Lannan has a shot.

  • TheNYMetsies

    I guess Lannan is ok…

  • TheNYMetsies

    I’m more looking forward to Syndergaard and Montero then Lannan and Dice-K.

  • TheNYMetsies

    Agreed

  • oleosmirf

    I read somewhere that Dice-K has the right to refuse a minor league assignment if he doesn’t make the 25 man roster. Anyone know if this correct? If so, then Lannan has a very small chance to make the rotation

  • oleosmirf

    A shot, yes, but Dice-K and Mejia are going into ST with the upper hand.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Lannon SUCKS!

    And thats a FACT JACK!

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    Mejia will be the 5th starter if the competition is based on going with the best pitcher/option.

  • Jake Jones

    why rush Syndergaard? Look im excited for him too BUT the kid has only pitched to AA. let the kid refine his stuff in AAA before finally making his debut. Montero has a better shot ebcause he has already pitched well in vegas

  • Taskmaster4450

    I think Lannon has a good shot at making the 25 man roster out of ST but not as a starter. I sense he is going to give Torres a run for the long relief/spot start position.

  • Hodges14

    Who’s talking about rushing? He’ll show in spring training if he’s ready or not.

  • Hodges14

    If he’s fully recovered from his surgery and they think he can last a season. My question with Mejia is, how much do you expect him to do? He pitched 57 innings last year, then had arm surgery. I’d say a great season for him this year would be 100 innings and get out of the season healthy.

  • Hodges14

    Where’s he going to go? There was no demand for him this off season, that’s why he signed a minor league contract with the Mets.

  • BadBadLeroyBrown

    We sign garbage Lannan and his career 1.43WHIP and the Orioles sign 1 of the best pitchers in Korea 27yr old Suk-Min Yoon for 3yrs/$5.75Mil

    -Fastball 90-92 mph [can hit 96 mph]
    -Change-up
    -Curveball[Hard breaking]
    -Slider in the mid 80’s

    He can start or relieve

  • NewYorkMammoths

    We can pick him up when he fails the Orioles’ physical.

  • Fast Eddie

    Lannan has an advantage over Dice-K by virtue of being a southpaw, which is something the Mets can use in their rotation this year. Four consecutive righties can be a problem against certain teams with a lot of LHBs in the lineup. Ideally, a team’s rotation should have a 3-2 balance of righties and lefties in order to mix things up.

    The best of all situations would be to have both Mejia and Lannan pitch well in ST, which would push Matsuzaka to AAA as insurance, but I’m not betting on things working out that way. It’s the Mets we’re talking about here; things never work out ideally for our team.

    Veloz

  • oleosmirf

    One has nothing to do with the other. Now you can say the Mets should have signed Yoon instead of Colon, but Yoon projects to be, at most, Dillon Gee, who we’re not gonna be able to fit in our rotation next year anyway.

    Why pay a complete unknown and guarantee him a spot in the rotation, when he might not even be one of the best 5 starters we have?

  • KennyandtheMets

    Solid pick up. As a lefty he could end up a long man out of the pen , or a situational lefty.

  • oleosmirf

    Japan…

  • Jake Jones

    let him come up in june like harvey and wheeler did. Its the smart move plus it gives us a extra year a service time. The Rays did teh same thing wth Wil Myers

  • oleosmirf

    Even if he is “ready”, he’s not making the team.

  • Hodges14

    Well I’m not saying they should have made this move, but in general you can’t have too much pitching. if you end up with what you believe is a surplus you should be able to make trades to fill other holes on your roster. Pitching is great currency for trades.

  • Hodges14

    I don’t think that’s much of a loss to the Mets. I certainly wouldn’t let it impact my thinking on who should make the roster or not.

  • Hodges14

    The Rays operate in a completely different business environment than the Mets. Really not comparable. No matter what the Rays do they are going to be limited in attendance/revenue. The Mets don’t have that problem. In NY if you field a winner the stadium will be full.

  • BehindTheBag

    That’s usually the case with the minor league contracts. Usually his agent will shop around to see if there’s any interest in him, and if so, he’ll go there. If not, he’ll take the minor league assignment.

    From there, there’s usually an opt-out clause like if you’re not on the major league roster by June XX, you have the right to opt out…so again, if he’s got a shot at a major league assignment somewhere else, he can go there.

    That’s the player benefit to taking a minor league deal, to ensure they can’t get buried on the shelf.

  • oleosmirf

    correct, but Yoon requires a guaranteed spot in the rotation, something the Mets cannot offer.

    Yoon never made sense for the Mets on multiple levels, which is why the Mets were never interested.

    After Colon was signed, the Mets rotation became full and the only thing the Mets needed was some insurance in case Mejia isn’t back to form.

    Lannan and Dice-K require no promise of playing time, no 40 man roster spot, nor guaranteed money, which is exactly what the Mets were in the market for.

  • oleosmirf

    well no that’s not accurate.

    From what I read, a player with 6 or more years of service time can flat out refuse a minor league assignment and instantly become a free agent, whereas someone like Lannan with only 5 years, must report to AAA (where he can only opt out after June 1st)

  • Jake Jones

    Let him go to Triple A first. I understand you wnat to see him here already but its the right move to let him continue to progress. Dont worry he will be here soon enough

  • oleosmirf

    If the choice is between Lannan or Dice-K, then it certainly does matter as you’re going to choose Dice-K for depth purposes.

  • oleosmirf

    Every team delays a top prospect’s debut, not just the small market teams.

    The Nationals did it with Harper, the Angels with Trout. It’s just common sense, especially with a pitcher since you’re only sacrificing, at most, 4 starts.

  • BehindTheBag

    I could be mistaken, but what you’re describing sounds like a guaranteed major league deal, not a minor league contract.

  • Always appreciate when I read a simple to the point minus the sarcasm/insults well reasoned opinion.

    Well done sir.

  • Jake Jones

    Exactly. Id rather have an extra year of syndergaard then like 3-4 starts when he might not even be ready

  • Hodges14

    The Angels did NOT do it with Trout. Trout came up in 2011 and would have started the 2012 season with the Angels but he was injured.

    Not all teams delay top prospects debut either. The Marlins had 20 year old Jose Fernandez on their roster from April last year. As a result, going into 2014 they have a 21 year old proven major league pitcher.

  • Hodges14

    There’s really not much reason to worry about controlling a guy like Syndergaard. Chances are if he’s near as good as the hype says he will be then they will lock him up long term long before he has the chance to become a free agent.

  • Hodges14

    I’m not sure why you are concerned with depth if as you state Montero and Syndergaard will be in Vegas waiting in the wings. If Lannan or Dice-K make the rotation that would also most likely leave Mejia as depth also (unless Mejia is not healthy enough to go at the beginning of the season).

  • oleosmirf

    I stand corrected with Trout, but the Marlins absolutely should have delayed Fernandez. That one month is going to cost them millions although they’ll probably trade him away anyway.

    Regardless, delaying a prospect is almost always the correct decision unless you’re a team that is competing for a playoff spot and that player is a clear upgrade over what you have now.

    The Mets cannot say that Montero is going to be clear upgrade in April over everyone else he’s competing with, nor are those April starts going to make a difference in our season. The chances that Montero’s first 4 starts will be so dominant that they trump what Mejia, Dice-K, Lannan, DeGrom or even Torres can do is exceedingly slim.

    Therefore, holding Montero back is simply a smart decision. Same thing with Syndergaard.

  • Jake Jones

    Well it doesnt matter they are probably gonna start him in triple A. remember he hanst pitched a lot of innings either so its not like he is gonna be relied on teh carry the load his rookie year. a month or two is not a big deal he will be here soon

  • oleosmirf

    Teams very rarely lock up a young player before they become arbitration eligible and it usually occurs when they are looking for their first raise.

    You don’t go out of your way to delay arbitration or delay service time, but when you’re within a few weeks, it is of paramount importance, especially for a team like the Mets that have, and always will operate on a strict budget.

    If the Mets were to let Syndergaard become a super-two, what would happen is in 2016 (a year the Mets should be WS contenders), instead of paying him 500K, his salary could escalate to 3-5 million and if you have multiple prospects (like the Mets do) those extra millions keep adding up.

  • BarnRat

    Montero and Syndergaard provide great options in case of injuries, but not for innings limits as they’re all in the same boat. Need some older depth for the back half of the season.

  • Hodges14

    if we’re really worried that Dice-K is going to bolt and go back to Japan we’re doomed. They can go get another worthless retread at any time.

  • BarnRat

    Yeah, good point. I can’t really lose sleep over Dice fleeing the country

  • Hodges14

    If the Mets worry about winning games out of the chute in April they may have meaningful games in September which will generate more revenue. If the Mets make winning the priority all these other problems go away because they will have the revenue to take care of them. The Rays simply cannot operate that way because it doesn’t matter what they do, they won’t draw.
    The Mets should be using the other team in their own market as an example, not a team in the worst market in baseball. Win and all the money problems surrounding the team go away.

  • Yoon would’ve been a smart and creative signing. That’s too much to ask for around here.

  • oleosmirf

    The Mets aren’t playing meaningful games in September, no matter who pitches in April.

    Too many “what ifs” right now and no young core.

  • lareplus

    The Mets very well could have the best staff in the National League. .

  • Rocky Thompson

    I disagree. Based on his performance last year and the fact that he is already on the 40-man roster, Torres will fill the long relief/spot starter position in the bullpen. With Mejia’s history with injuries, I think they are going to want Lannan and Dice-K to start the year as starters. Similar to Torres last season, I can see Lannan brought up and put in relief around the time he can opt out of his contract.

  • diehardmets

    Way to gloss over the consistent shoulder issues the last two years and the persistent questions about whether he can be above average as a reliever, let alone as a starter.

  • DrDooby

    That seems highly unlikely for 2014 – but could be the case going forward, maybe even as early as in 2015.
    Last season, all five NL playoff teams gave up LESS than 600 runs. The Mets gave up 684 runs and thus about 100 runs more than your average NL playoff team. So, they´ll have to make up for a lot of ground – without Matt Harvey for the season and without Noah Syndergaard having a meaningful impact yet either.

    Besides Zack Wheeler, Jennry Mejia and / or Rafael Montero hopefully developing into quality major league starting pitchers in 2014, the key will be finding a good mix going forward for the bullpen. It´d be very helpful if at least two of the young power arms were able to take a big step forward in 2014 and establish themselves as key pieces going forward. I like the Mets´ chances with several valid candidates in the mix – but have no idea who is going to be one of “the guys” specifically. However, it would really help entering 2015 with a bullpen that´s mostly set and loaded with already somewhat proven young power arms.

  • DrDooby

    The “lefty / righty” thing is overrated. I´d rather have five good RH SP than just three good RH SP and two mediocre lefties just for diversity´s sake.

    Bartolo Colon is a very different type of pitcher than Zack Wheeler who is very different from Dillon Gee who is very different from Jennry Mejia. All 4 have very different repertoires and ways to get hitters out. Matt Harvey & Noah Syndergaard also have different styles, built & stuff, so even going forward, there should be lots of diversity. Rafael Montero has some similarities with Bartolo Colon (dominating the strikezone with fastballs at all spots) and with Jennry Mejia (smaller size with above average fastball that moves)., But other than that, this is not a case where the Mets rotation figures to feature a bunch of similar sinker / slider types.

    Lannan & Dice-K are helpful mostly as hedges against 1st half injuries to SP – before Montero & especially Syndergaard become likely options for promotions. Say, one of the regular 4 SP or Mejia has to go onto the DL with something between April & June – quite likely that happens at some point – the Mets can go with whoever looks better among Dice K & Lannan for a few starts and see what they have before thinking about putting either Montero or Syndergaard on the roster.

  • Fast Eddie

    I think you misunderstood me. I never advocated putting a mediocre lefty in the rotation over a really good righty. The five best candidates should be in the rotation, but if all things are equal, a 3-2 balance of lefty and righty starters is better than four or five hurlers of the same handedness.

    The Mets are currently lopsided with RH starting pitchers. That’s why I thought Lannon might have an advantage over Matsuzaka if they put up similar performances in ST.

    The “lefty-righty thing” is significant, IMO. That’s why some managers platoon position players. I’ll bet Ike Davis and Lucas Duda will admit to having trouble with southpaws. Furthermore, no manager wants to run four or five similar pitchers out there in a row against an opponent.

    Ideally, managers like to mix up lefties and righties, power pitchers and sinkerballers/knuckleballers. I doubt that TC or his successor will run Harvey, Wheeler and Sydergaard out to the mound in consecutive games. That’s where Jon Niese (or some other portsider) will come in handy. Montero and Mejia don’t throw as hard as the Big Three and might also serve well to change the pace. I just wish that one of them were a lefty.

    Veloz