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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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July 26, 2008 1:23 PM

Washburn awaits phone call

Posted by Geoff Baker

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The Mariners were thumped, 8-3 this afternoon, by the Toronto Blue Jays, who you can see above as they leave the field.

But the bigger news is the supposedly pending Jarrod Washburn deal to the New York Yankees. Just got done talking to Washburn in the clubhouse. He told me he spoke to his agent, Scott Boras, by phone two days ago and the pair went over the procedure that would take place in the event of a deal. What it boils down to is, Washburn has told Boras what he'd like as far as compensation goes for waiving his no-trade clause if dealt to the Yankees. The agent will verbally discuss this this with the two teams once an agreement in principle is reached. After that, once all final offers are on the table, Boras will phone Washburn and he'll say yes or no.

"That's pretty much it,'' Washburn said.

There are all kinds of rumors flying about what the deal will entail. There has been talk of outfielder Melky Cabrera or outfield prospect Brett Gardner coming over, along with pitcher Kei Igawa. There were rumors that the M's wanted Jose Vidro going back the other way at some point.

The trade by New York for Pirates outfielder Xavier Nady makes this Washburn deal possible. New York is dealing with injuries to several outfielders and would not deal Cabrera away unless it had a regular outfielder coming back.

I could see the Mariners wanting Cabrera, even though I think Gardner is the more attractive pickup here. Anyone who saw Gregg Zaun score from second on that Willie Bloomquist throw home this afternoon would tend to agree this team needs a full-time center fielder.

Right now, Bloomquist and Jeremy Reed are the equivalent of two fourth outfielders sharing that job. Reed's bat has leveled off the more he plays.

Jim Riggleman says he knows nothing of any pending deal. I believe him -- to a point. He left R.A. Dickey out there awfully long today. Yes, the bullpen was a bit tired, but it had an off-day on Thursday. Riggleman looks to be saving guys up for...for...yes, to make a collective emergency start for Washburn tomorrow if needed. Front offices communicate with managers on these things. If a deal is this close, I doubt the Yankees want Washburn on the mound tomorrow for Seattle as scheduled.

Now, we just have to wait for some phone calls to be made and see what happens.

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July 26, 2008 12:08 PM

Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays: 07/26 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

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We're headed to the eighth inning, with Seattle down 8-3, but on the bigger news front, we're hearing buzz that Jarrod Washburn might not make it to tomorrow with the M's. A trade with the New York Yankees appears imminent. We're trying to peer into the dugout to see whether he's still there. We'll have an update after the game.

For those of you wondering why Jeff Clement isn't playing -- he can't. He can't throw the ball properly with tape over his injured thumbnail. He also isn't swinging properly in BP. As for Bryan LaHair, he's just not playing. They don't have confidence in him against lefty pitching yet. Frankly, he hasn't looked at that great at the plate and I can sense they're trying not to overmatch him so that he can possibly stay up here longer -- not get sent back down right away like Clement and Wladimir Balentien.

By the way, I happened to run in to Tony LaCava, the Blue Jays' assistant GM and one of the rumored candidates for the Seattle job next season. LaCava told me he'd yet to be contacted by the team. Not surprising, since it's still in-season. He told me a lot of candidates around the game would love the job and that he'd obviously consider it if asked.

"I try not to worry about that stuff anymore,'' he said. "If it happens, it happens.''

LaCava was a very late finalist for the Pirates' GM opening last year, but withdrew his name during the last stages of that team's search.

He is close to Seattle's director of scouting, Bob Fontaine, having worked for him during his tenure with the Angels.

Not much new to tell you today. Erik Bedard isn't ready to throw yet.It could be several more days before that happens. I don't know about you, but I'm starting to think he's gone until September -- if not 2009.

In case you missed this the other day, the M's are finally getting some of that national recognition they've long sought.

Continue reading this post ...

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