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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 31, 2008 10:54 AM

Washburn still in-play

Posted by Geoff Baker

I know a lot of you have wondered about those rumors concerning the Yankees trying to go after Paul Byrd from the Cleveland Indians, as an alternative to Jarrod Washburn. Well, this item from the New York Post, released within the hour, shoots down that theory.

From what I'm told, the M's have not budged from their position. They want a higher level prospect from the Yankees. Like I've said, they can afford to wait this one out. We'll know more as the deadline draws closer. If you ask me, though, it's going to be difficult for the Yankees to cave on this. They've gone pretty far in shooting their mouths off in leaks and official statements that they are not prepared to go further. If they give Lee Pelekoudas what he wants now, it's going to look like a defeat. In fact, if they cave and take Washburn and he implodes, they have set themselves up for some major egg on their faces.

My hunch? This doesn't happen before the deadline. Unless both sides meet in the middle and agree on a mid-level prospect like we saw acquired for Arthur Rhodes this morning.

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Posted by shane/olympia

11:06 AM, Jul 31, 2008

my hunch is that lee is an idiot and will be replaced

raul deserves to play for a contender for the last part of this year and his contract

washburn + anything in return - his contract = good deal!

Posted by Adam

11:13 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Dear Mr. Pelekoudas,

Ever think that you can make a good impression for your bosses by simply getting rid of Washburn's ridiculous contract, rather than holding out for a hgh-end prospect who will never come?


Sincerely,

Adam


PS - Pull your head out.

Posted by cesame

11:15 AM, Jul 31, 2008

The M's can't afford to wait this one out. He could get injured, his luck could run out(it will), and a team can block the Yankees from getting him on waivers.

Lee, do the deal. It's the smart thing to do. And while you're at it, DFA Vidro FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Posted by cesame

11:16 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that the Yankees could change their position on Washburn if their younger SP'd work out for them. They may not need Washburn in a month. Wang has still yet to come back.

Lee, do the deal.

Posted by laughing

11:21 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I wonder why you guys aren't MLB GM's? Friggin know it alls...ever think that Pelekoudas probably doesn't have any power to make a real decision here? From what I've heard, the Yankees aren't offering even a mid level player. So why not just wait and see if the Yankees do cave and give us something and take his salary. What's the point of moving washburn right now if the Yanks aren't going to offer a prospect....We get the same thing tomorrow when he goes on waivers and we trade him to NYC tomorrow. Now if Washburn isn't moved before Aug 31st...then you can rant and rave....but what's the point today??

Posted by Bobby Hill

11:21 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Pelekoudos is doing a good job, as far as I'm concerned. He set his price and is holding to it.

The Mariners are in the driver's seat on this one. Pelekoudas himself said that money is not an issue right now, and Washburn has value by virtue of being a veteran left-hander who has put up great numbers since May.

Remember, it's the Yankees who came to the Mariners -- not the other way around.

Good work, Lee!

Posted by joebbaseball

11:22 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I agree with Shane, get rid of these guys with big contracts like Wash and Beltre that teams are willing to take. Just give them away! This would save a ton of money for next season. This way the M's can go out and sign more FA to huge contracts and then have them never live up to them.

Posted by bob

11:23 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Hopefully history changes in our favor.

If you look at the trades the Mariners have made for prospects over the last few years, we rarely see that player reach the major leagues and be successful.

Jesse Foppert, Marcos Carvajal, Travis Chick, Andrew Baldwin, Andrew Barb, Joe Borchard, Yorman Bazardo, Mike Flannery, Miguel Ojeda, Miguel Olivo, Yorvit Torrealba.

Posted by laughing

11:24 AM, Jul 31, 2008

cesame, if another team claims washburn off of waivers to block the yankees, then they take on his total salary, which is basically what the Yankees are offering....so why the rush to move him today if we're not getting a prospect?

Posted by Ziasudra

11:24 AM, Jul 31, 2008

You three guys above are all non-sensical (ie., idiots!). In thefirst place Lee does what the top dogs tell him. In the 2nd place, Washburn is not a drag on the M's right now (like Vidro, etc.) They do NOT have to trade him today, or tomorow. Thirdly, if they put him onwaivers tomorrow, and someone claims him, they pick up the entire salary outstanding.

Posted by remove Lee's head from his rear

11:24 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Yeah, sure they can afford to wait. I mean there are just tons of teams out there willing to take the remainder of that contract. I'm sure that even more of them will be drooling over the prospect of taking that contract after Washburn starts pitching like Washburn again.

Posted by cesame

11:25 AM, Jul 31, 2008

That team can claim him and then do nothing I'm pretty sure. And even if another team wanted to do a deal, how do you know they're willing to take on the whole contract?

Posted by ouchie

11:26 AM, Jul 31, 2008

My grandmothers hair is on fire?

Posted by bob

11:26 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Our players usually pan out and be at least serviceable major league players.

Shin Soo Choo
Asdrubal Cabrera
Ramon Vazquez (several years ago)
Cha Seung Baek
Matt Thornton
David Ortiz

It would be nice to see a diamond in the rough come out, even if it took two to three years

Posted by Aaron

11:30 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Geoff,

With all the talk about teams looking for catching, why hasn't Joh's name been thrown out there?

Posted by brennan31

11:32 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Placing Wash through waivers will screw Yanks because someone else will take him first. If they really want him they need to trade for him.
Throw us a mid prospect and call it a day Cashman...or allow us to throw in a couple mill and send back Austin Jackson. lol

Posted by Mr. Sabermetrics

11:33 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Adam, you are one of the smarter people here. Mr. S thinks that you need to look no further than the tag team tandem of Armstrong and Lincoln to see why Lee P. is waiting around for something he may not get.

Lee Pelekoudas isn't the idiot here, it's more meddling from that two headed beast known as Lincstrong.

Posted by Ziasudra

11:35 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Another thing everyone is forgetting - money is not the answer to getting FA's, winning is. You need players first to start winning, then the FA's will be interested. No decent FA is coming here under any price tag.
WE NEED PLAYERS TO WIN, not cash right now.

Posted by byronebyronian

11:35 AM, Jul 31, 2008

If this was Bavasi, we'd have seen Washburn traded to the Yankees for some useless 30 year old minor leaguer with "upside" and we'd STILL eat half his salary.

Lee is doing the right thing. It also sends a message to other trade partners that he won't budge out of fear whether he's the one making these decisions or he's taking direction from above.

Posted by The Centerfield Bum

11:36 AM, Jul 31, 2008

The M's need young talent in order to improve the team, so holding out for talent is the right thing to do.

Dumping salary helps the financial bottom line in the short term, but that's about it.

Posted by Patrick from Kent

11:43 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I would be happy with a mid-level OF prospect...maybe Colin Curtis...now granted I am bias toward him for certain reasons. But he is a Washington guy and a great kid who has overcome a lot! Was the co-state player of the year his senior year along with a certain Giants SP. Jackson looks good too though!

Posted by Jonathan

11:43 AM, Jul 31, 2008

"With all the talk about teams looking for catching, why hasn't Joh's name been thrown out there?"

Because he's hitting .210 maybe?

The best free agent out there was Pudge and the team needing a catcher most was the Yankees. A deal was done yesterday the M's are stuck with Johjima.

Posted by Mr. Sabermetrics

11:43 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Why do we need to trade Beltre? He's fine and who would take his place IF WE DID trade him. No GM in his right mind would trade Beltre for nothing. He's still YOUNG and is a solid defender so there is no need to trade him in a salary dump.

Sometimes I don't get fans, especially ours.

Posted by Saintevil

11:45 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I like that they aren't caving in on Washburn. They can waive him and get the salary dump deal done all the way up to the end of August. The Mariners are not hurting finacially so no one needs to do them a "favor" and take awaya salary. Stick to your guns and let's get some players.

Posted by shortbus

11:45 AM, Jul 31, 2008

The decision whether or not to dump Washburn hinges on your evaluation of his ability. Has his recent success been the result of genuine improvement in his pitching, or has it been a combination of luck and facing relatively poor opposition? Results-based analysis says it's genuine, ability-based analysis says it's luck.

My feeling is that you don't risk Washburn going out and blowing his next three starts and demolishing his trade value. If teams will take this mediocre pitcher with a big salary off your hands now, you do it.

Posted by Mike

11:46 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Any chance that they split the difference whereby we get the prospect and salary relief for next year but are willing to eat the rest of this year's salary? Seems like a win-win.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

11:47 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Assuming Washburn is still with the M's, his start tomorrow will be a big one - he can show that the recent two-month run of success was not just an effort to enhance his trade value. My guess is that he has learned to make an adjustment by learning to change speeds and use a changeup to keep hitters off-balance. I'm glad the M's have held the line against teams (NYY) just looking to fleece the team with a salary dump. I'm so glad that Bonehead Bill has been flushed from this organization!

Posted by Mike

11:51 AM, Jul 31, 2008

I don't think Wasburn's recent success is due to trying harder or a better change-up. He's had some good fortune and pitched against mostly bad lineups. He's what he is, an overpaid #5 starter on a hot streak. It is very unlikely he turned some magical corner at this point in his career.

Posted by DC

11:55 AM, Jul 31, 2008

This is an actual question, not a hypothetical.
For those of you who would dump Washburn for no decent prospects but just for salary purposes, what do you envision as a starting 5 for next year? After Hernandez and (possibly healthy) Bedard, where do the other 3 starters come from?

I ask because the answer better not be free agency. If you think the $10 mil saved on Washburn can be spent on a starter better than Washburn you're fooling yourself.

So who does start?

Posted by blog watcher33

11:56 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Dear Adam,

Any trade made by the Mariners at this point should be with the idea of putting a pennant-contending club on the field on later than 2012. If no player is offered that can help reach that goal, no trade will be made. And I for one, applaud that stance.

IF Washburn continues to pitch anywhere close to the way he has in the last two months, he will be more valuable to another club this winter than he is now. And he'll be even more valuable at this time next year than this winter, IF he keeps pitching well. Admittedly, it may be a big IF. But that's risk worth taking because the Mariners don't have to dump salary in order to take on more over-priced FA's this winter. But it would be nice to see a plan formulated that will acquire as much young talent as possible and see who sticks and who doesn't/

Sincerely,

Blog Watcher 33

P.S. - Pull YOUR head out.

Posted by shortbus

11:56 AM, Jul 31, 2008

Mike

That's what I'm hoping for now...that Lee and the Yanks compromise with the M's paying some salary and the Yanks giving up a player. After all...if money's not an issue and theM's need players...why haggle over four or five million bucks?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:59 AM, Jul 31, 2008

It's noon, and I don't see Igawa coming over, so Lee hasn't screwed up anything w.r.t. Washburn as far as I'm concerned.

Lee's fine. There's plenty of time to dump Washburn's contract next month.

Posted by cesame

12:01 PM, Jul 31, 2008

One hour left Lee. Get your crap together and dump Washburn. I'm begging you. It's the smart thing to do.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:04 PM, Jul 31, 2008

DC - Next year's rotation is Felix, Bedard, Silva, and the better 2 in spring training of RRS, Dickey and Morrow. Actually Dickey would likely be better as a 6th starter / long reliever, hopefully getting more time late in the season when the weather would be kinder to his knuckleball.

Felix b/c he's Felix; Bedard and Silva due to contracts; the others as a fresh in-house start.

Batista and Washburn will be gone by next year.

Posted by shortbus

12:11 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Chris - Man it hurts to see Silva's name in that rotation. Must we allow the ghost of Bavasi to haunt us for as long as we're saddled with that tub-o-lose? I think they need to dump him and eat his salary. You can't let him go out and give up five runs in 2.1 innings for three more years.

Posted by northwestmark

12:12 PM, Jul 31, 2008

I've been scouring some of the NY blogs over the last hour and it looks like some of the fans are starting to get nervous about not getting a good starting pitcher to bolster their roster. Some of the Yankee fans are starting to say "we can give up Melky" for a chance to actually be a contender this year. I think the Yankees will blink first if a deal is going to get done. Otherwise, I welcome Jarrod back as our #3 starter next year.

Posted by scottM

12:16 PM, Jul 31, 2008

from Mike: "The problems with Guillen are three-fold."

THE JOSÉ GUILLEN SOCIETY official response:

Problem One: No Guillen = poor chemistry. Compare M's of '08 with M's of '07. With Mr. Guillen not in the Mariner's Clubhouse to keep Mssrs. Betancourt, Lopez, Beltre (and the rest of the listless players on this team) more alert, keen, productive and competitive, this team loses its fire. [Regarding Guillen's stats in '08, a player who is happy performs better.]

Problem Two: If Mr. Guillen is not with the M's, he can't replace Raul Ibanez in LF in '09. If Raul and Guillen, or a similar caliber OF player is not available to this team, then the M's will be giving up on the 2009 season. If Guillen, in fact, does restore the '07 team chemistry in '09, then he solves, with one trade, the potential problem of replacing/trading Yuni, Lopez and possibly Beltre, who may then re-sign with the M's beyond '09 if things turn around.

Problem Three: By not unloading $12 million a year for Silva in '09, '10, and '11, and assuming $10 million a year for '09 and '10 for Guillen, the M's will not free up $2 million in '09 and 2010, plus $12million in 2011 that this trade offers. In other words, $16 million in total savings for this trade.

Silva for Guillen in '08!!!!!

THE JOSÉ GUILLEN SOCIETY

Posted by John

12:16 PM, Jul 31, 2008

I have a question:
Getting rid of Washburn and Beltre gives us a ton of money ... FOR WHO?
We're going to be losing for at least two more seasons. Every player in baseball knows that. We are not ... and never have been able to attract the premier free agents. What makes anyone think we'll be able to attract them to a major rebuilding project?
Getting rid of Washburn to sign another mediocre free agent pitcher doesn't make any sense. I wouldn't move Washburn until we at least get something marginal in return. Even if that is this in August, this offseason - or later.
And Beltre is a great defensive third baseman. Considering we have NO ONE who is ready to play third base in the minors, there is no point in trading Beltre unless we get at least a good pitcher and a replacement third baseman in return.

Posted by Lance

12:19 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Of course, if Cashman wants Batista for nothing, fine. Believe it or not, even Miguel, if healthy, has more value than either Ponson or Rasner.

But, Wash has too much value. They should be able to land a quality prospect for him, despite the contract. It's not like it's Barry Zito or Jason Schmidt money, or anything.

If the M's have anything in any Washburn deal they've got time. It doesn't have to be done today.

Hang tight on this one, Lee.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:23 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Raul Ibanez to Toronto is the latest rumor I keep hearing on ESPN's deadline show.

Maybe the Reds will join in and send Cory Patterson to the M's, the Jays get Raul, and the Reds get Adam Lind.

LOL! I couldn't resist.


Re: Dickey

I am not sold on Dickey being the answer to the rotation next year. He looked awful his last start. This makes the Pelekoudas trade of Rhodes a good one. At least we have one more arm in the mix to compete for Dickey's spot.

Posted by Lance

12:25 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John, the answer to your question, for who?

1. Felix Hernandez, who is arbitrary eligible now.

2. Anyone else. Doesn't have to be a third baseman. They can move Jose to 3B, where he belongs, and use it for another position. Most likely, I'd think, first base. Or, second.

3. To sign Ken Griffy, Jr., if they have a mind to do that.

Posted by Ben

12:26 PM, Jul 31, 2008

There is no reason to trade Beltre this year - he's been hurt by that thumb most of the year. We should keep him for his defense and his hitting.

He's a great option for us at 3rd. If we want to trade him, we should do it next year when he heals up a bit and can increase his value.

Just my 8 cents.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:27 PM, Jul 31, 2008

33 minutes till the end of the deadline.

Posted by bobby Hill

12:28 PM, Jul 31, 2008

"He's had some good fortune and pitched against mostly bad lineups."


Well, during this stretch of solid performance, he has pitched good games against Boston, New York, Texas, and Los Angeles. I wouldn't really qualify those teams as having bad lineups.

Washburn has been working on developing his off-speed stuff ever since the Spring. A couple of his bad outings early in the season became bad when he left an off-speed pitch in the heart of the strike zone. "Out pitches" don't develop overnight, and I think Washburn's are becoming more consistent and reliable.

Posted by Lance

12:34 PM, Jul 31, 2008

R-I-C, what you say is true, and obvious. Nobody in this rotation deserves to have their name written in ink for 2009 except Felix and Carlos.

Well, Bedard, if he's still around. Hopefully not, I say.

That's what the rest of this season and spring training will answer. Everyone else is just in the mix.

Posted by Adam

12:34 PM, Jul 31, 2008

IF Washburn continues to pitch anywhere close to the way he has in the last two months, he will be more valuable to another club this winter than he is now. And he'll be even more valuable at this time next year than this winter, IF he keeps pitching well.


Here's a secret: Washburn isn't pitching any different than he did in April and May. So those IFs are pretty unrealistic. Time to start dealing in reality and get Washburn's salary off the books.


The M's have three candidates who can pitch as well as Washburn (or almost as well) without costing $10 million: RRS, Morrow, and Feierabend. If you can use that money to improve other spots on the roster, without losing much if any in the rotation, you make that move. Period.

Posted by John

12:35 PM, Jul 31, 2008

This team will have the Richie Sexson money if they want to extend Felix -- and good luck with that by the way.
Dumping money for the sake of dumping money -- unless it involves an awful player like Sexson -- doesn't make sense unless you can spend the money on something of equal or more value.
My argument is that there is nothing of equal or more value in regards to Washburn for the 2009 season that Seattle can spend the money on. And don't name some big free agent -- because they aren't coming here.
That money will be available for 2010 when they need it, and the remodeling of this crappy franchise is truly under way and hopefully in the hands of much more competent individuals.

Posted by Ryan

12:36 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Why would no one want Johjima??


Please tell me you're kidding. He's hitting .210, is a defensive liability, and he can't hit in the clutch. I think that's enough right there.


He's also highly overpaid. No one wants to take on that contract.

Posted by Lance

12:37 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Ben, I agree, unless the M's get a deal that blows the door off. Probably won't happen.

So, here's another four cents, to make it twelve.

Posted by Buzzy

12:37 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Question for Geoff & everyone else. If Beltre is traded now or in the offseason, could Jose Lopez play 3rd? His D at 2nd appears suspect at best, but would that just be magnified at 3rd? Would he become another Russ Davis defensively?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:38 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John-we absolutely need to lock up Felix. That should be the #1 priority this winter.

Posted by John

12:38 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Adam,
I'm curious about your idea of using the money to remodel other parts of the team. And not sarcastically curious.
What would you use the money for - considering whatever free agents we might sign to help this team aren't going to be Class A guys?
I guess I can see "dumping" Washburn for nothing in return if there were some viable financial options in return.

Posted by John

12:41 PM, Jul 31, 2008

I agree signing Felix should be the No. 1 priority. But I just can't see it being that easy unless you throw ridiculous, franchise-crippling money at him.
Seriously. Who would want to be apart of this organization right now -- or even in the next three years?
There is virtually no chance of playing for a winner here in Seattle in that time frame.

Posted by DC

12:44 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John,
What money do you think was saved by cutting Sexson?

Posted by Adam

12:52 PM, Jul 31, 2008

THis just in from Jayson Stark:

Looks as if Raul Ibanez is staying in Seattle. Just when it appeared that the Blue Jays and Mariners were close to a trade for the Seattle outfielder, the Mariners apparently had second thoughts. According to an official of one team that spoke with those clubs Thursday, this would have been a 2-for-1 deal involving all major-league players.


Hmmm. I'd be VERY interested to know who those two ML players were that the Mariners decided not to take. Or if we were sending two, who we decided not to take back.

Posted by Henry

12:52 PM, Jul 31, 2008

No money was saved by cutting Sexson. We had to pay him off to leave.

More info on G. Hernandez via mlb.com minor league blogs:

Just what kind of pitcher did the Mariners get in return for Arthur Rhodes? Here's a closer look at Gaby Hernandez:

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander was drafted by the New York Mets in the third round oGHernandez.JPG the 2004 draft out of a Miami-area high school. He made an immediate impression by leading the Gulf Coast League with a 1.09 ERA, striking out 58 batters over his first 49 2/3 pro innings.

He was equally impressive in his first full season, reaching Class A Advanced ball as a teenager. In the first half of 2005, Hernandez was a South Atlantic League All-Star, posting a 2.43 ERA and .179 batting average against before struggling a bit following a promotion to the Florida State League. That offseason, he was sent, along with outfielder Dante Brinkley, to the Marlins for catcher Paul LoDuca. His first full season with the Marlins (2006), Hernandez was outstanding, spending the season in the FSL at age 20 and going 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA and a nifty 115/35 K/BB ratio in 120 IP. His 2007 season was a little up-and-down, though he was a Southern League All-Star at age 21 and topped the 150-inning plateau for the first time.

This year, Hernandez was briefly in the mix for the Marlins' No. 5 starter job in big-league camp. He pitched well in camp, but eventually got sent down and began the year with Triple-A Albuquerque. Things didn't go well for him in New Mexico, as he went 2-8 with a 7.24 ERA over 13 starts, spending nearly a month on the DL with an intercostal strain, before being sent down to Double-A to get straightened out. He's gone 3-0 with a 4.30 ERA in four starts and looking a lot sharper.

When Hernandez is right, he's got a good three-pitch mix: a fastball that sits in the low 90s and can reach 94; a breaking ball that is a plus at times; and a changeup that is also above-average. Even with the demotion to Double-A, Hernandez is still fairly young for his level and could still be ready for a big-league callup in 2009.

Let's make a trade!!! 10 mins to go!!!

Posted by Adam

12:55 PM, Jul 31, 2008

John - I haven't spent much time looking at 2009 FAs, but you have numerous positions that could use upgrades: 1B, SS, LF, CF, DH, SP.


Or, that extra money could come in handy if the team chooses to trade for a higher-salaried player.


The point is, Washburn isn't worth the money we are paying him, especially when dirt-cheap alternatives are available.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008

"The Mariners are so far behind the other three teams" "It can be a long 3-4 years"-Peter Gammons

Gammons predicting doom for the M's future.

Posted by scottM

12:59 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Adam,

You're so itchy to dump Washburn and his salary without ANY assurance that the M's will be make better use of those saved dollars or just sit on the savings. If Washburn pitches the way he has in June and July, then dumping him will just create one more hole in this Swiss cheese roster.

Posted by shortbus

1:03 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Great. They're the worst team in the history of ever and the M's "stand pat" other than trading an aging middle-reliever. It's better than making stupid trades, but we know they had an opportunity to dump an overpriced player and didn't take it. And that deal may be off the table following Washburn's start in LA on August 12th in which he will get pwnd.

Posted by Adam

1:03 PM, Jul 31, 2008

ScottM - that's no reason to sit on Washburn when his value is so high.


And would you rather have Washburn with $0 or RRS and $10 million??

Posted by scottM

1:04 PM, Jul 31, 2008

This feels like New Years Eve on the millenium. The clock strikes midnight and nothing happened, except time moved forward.

Posted by Dolph

1:15 PM, Jul 31, 2008

Resin, Dickey looked awful because there is no consistency to his starts. One minute he starts, the next in the BP. When he's been consistently going every five days, he's been good. I wonder if it's just an issue of routine since Knuckleballers are routine type pitchers.

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