July 20 news and notes: Nationals, Rays, Tigers

-Amid rampant speculation that the Nationals are looking to acquire a starting pitcher to slot into their rotation when Stephen Strasburg hits his innings limit, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that Washington isn’t willing to part with a top prospect for a starter because John Lannan can fill in just fine.

ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports a number of interesting tidbits about the starting pitching market, including two about Tampa Bay. Stark writes that the Rays might be willing to move James Shields or Jeremy Hellickson if they decide Evan Longoria has to be shut down for the season and they fall out of the Wild Card race, but only if they can get a good haul in exchange for one of the right-handers — “ideally, some combination of high-end young arms, a young catcher and/or a controllable hitter,” Stark writes.

-Stark has also heard that it’s Wade Davis — not Shields or Hellickson — who might be drawing the most interest among Rays pitchers. MLB.com’s Bill Chastain wrote about Davis’ successful transition to the bullpen on Thursday.

-According to CBSSports.com’s Danny Knobler, the Tigers are looking for a “difference-making starting pitcher” but aren’t sure they’ll be able to get one.

-FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal also wrote about the seemingly thinning trade market for elite starting pitching, noting that it could increase the demand for second-tier starters who become available.

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