John Lannan's salary is $5 million, and he started on opening day for the Washington Nationals in 2009 and 2010. This season, the left-hander will be at Triple-A Syracuse for Game 1.
In a completely unexpected move, the Nationals optioned Lannan to the minors and shifted lefty Ross Detwiler from the bullpen to the starting rotation. The decision was announced after Washington's 8-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, two days before the Nationals begin their season at the Chicago Cubs.
''I came to terms with going to the bullpen and being the long guy and waiting for an opportunity,'' said Detwiler, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2007 amateur draft, ''and it came up a whole lot quicker than I thought it would.''
While Detwiler spent much of 2011 at Syracuse, Lannan was making a staff-leading 33 starts for the Nationals, going 10-13 with a 3.70 ERA over 184 2-3 innings. Lannan appeared to have a spot in this year's rotation locked up after Chien-Ming Wang was injured during spri...