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Mets Sign Long Beach Native to Minor League Deal

Pitcher John Lannan as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2013 season. Photo credit: Courtesy Associated Press
Pitcher John Lannan as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2013 season. Photo credit: Courtesy Associated Press

John Lannan will get a chance to pitch for a New York team, just not the one he grew up rooting for. The Long Beach native and Chaminade High School graduate was offered a one-year minor-league contract by the New York Mets for the 2014 season, with an invitation to spring training to compete for a spot in the major-league rotation.

Lannan, 29, a Yankees fan growing up, first began his major league career with the Washington Nationals in 2007, winning 36 games from 2008-11 beforesigning for the 2013 season with the Phillies. In Philadelphia, he had 14 starts but struggled with injuries through most of the year before ultimately being placed on the disabled list in August with tendinosis in his left knee. The Phillies had optioned him for assignment, but Lannan refused, becoming a free agent before signing with the Mets.

He has a 45-58 career record with a 4.12 ERA over 148 career starts.

Currently the Mets may be looking at a choice between the left hander and prospects Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom for the final spot in their rotation. If successful, he would join John Niese as the other southpaw in the starting rotation. In addition to Niese, the 2014 Mets rotation is projected to include Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler. Jenrry Mejia had undergone elbow surgery and has had health issues in prior seasons.

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