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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 28, 2008 3:55 PM

The heat is on

Posted by Geoff Baker

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Jarrod Washburn has been heating up of late, but never more than this afternoon as the team goes through pre-game stretching in 102-degree heat here in Arlington. We've all discussed what the Mariners could do, chooseing to wait until after the July 31 deadline if the Washburn deal is going to be strictly a salary dump to the New York Yankees. But I don't want to present just that one perspective. Obviously, as I mentioned earlier, this is a calculated risk.

On his ESPN blog, Buster Olney feels the M's would be crazy to pass up this chance to shed Washburn's salary right now. Olney has a point. Just two months ago, this proposal from the Yanks would have seemed like an early Christmas gift. There is always a danger in these types of negotiations that a team will overplay its hand.

I can tell you, from being around the Mariners these past 24 hours, that the word is being put out that the team will not give players away for just money. It's not a fluke. The team wants that message out there. From what I've read in the New York papers today, the storyline there seems to be that a deal is on the verge of falling through because the M's won't give in to the Yankee offer. Sounds like that team is pushing its position pretty hard through the press.

Is this a dead deal?

Not a chance. The Yankees need pitching and Washburn -- no matter what you think of him -- is one of the better arms out there. So no, as long as that need exists, the deal isn't dead. It's at a stalemate. Like I said, one side is waiting for the other to blink. We'll see who does it first. If no one blinks, the M's had better be ready to keep Washburn for a while.

A different look to the lineup today as Jose Vidro is out and Jose Lopez is in at the No. 5 spot. Jeremy Reed moves up to the No. 2 position. Vidro did hit a home run yesterday. But there has been zero interest in him on the trade front.

Hank Blalock has been scratched for the Rangers. He has an upset stomach. A break for Felix Hernandez. He'll need it. Going to be hard-pressed to go seven in this heat.

Speaking of home run hitters, I caught the final moments of Josh Hamilton's pre-game batting practice session on video down below. Hope you enjoy.

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Carlos Silva, above, is still slated to go tomorrow. His back is apparently doing OK after the long flight here. Don't believe me? Have a look below.

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