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Nationals P Lannan asks for trade

Upset at being demoted to the minors just before the start of the season, Washington Nationals pitcher John Lannan announced Wednesday he was seeking a trade.

Lannan e-mailed a number of reporters, including those from the Washington Post and Washington Times, and said that he met with Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo twice to tell him how he felt about the situation.

"I know what my rights and the team's rights are, and while I'm still a member of the Washington Nationals organization, I let Mike know that I believe a trade would be the best solution for everyone in both the short and long term," Lannan said in the e-mail to the newspapers.

"I believe that I belong in a big-league rotation. I am a proven major-league starting pitcher, with a track record of success."

Lannan, who was the Opening Day starter in 2009 and 2010 and started 33 games last season, is due $5 million this year. The lefty went 10-13 with a 3.70 earned run average in 2011.

The Nationals also moved Ross Detwiler to the starting rotation at the No. 5 position, in place of Lannan. The southpaw compiled a 4-5 record with a 3.00 ERA in 15 games (10 starts) last year.

"I appreciate all the opportunities the Nationals organization has given me throughout the years," Lannan said in the e-mail to the media members. "I've done a lot for this organization through some tough times. I anticipated on being part of the team���s next exciting chapter.

"If the Nationals feel they don't need me or want me with the current make-up of the team, I can respect their decision. However, I'm very confident that I am capable of making a meaningful contribution to a major-league team."