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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 9:33 AM

M's have some Washburn leverage

Posted by Geoff Baker

It would appear we still live in interesting times, even those of you who have cheered on the Mariners from Day One of this season and others. I'm sitting in the Houston airport, awaiting my connecting flight to Dallas, and see that the stalemate in the Jarrod Washburn negotiations hasn't changed much over the past three hours.

Who would have thought the M's might hold the "key" to putting the New York Yankees over the top in their playoff push this season? For Seattle to get what it wants in these Washburn talks, the Yanks will have to be convinced that Washburn is indeed the final piece. In case they aren't sure, here's another entertaining bit of help coming Seattle's way. An endorsement from none other than Richie Sexson.

And who said the final two months of the season would be dull?

All kidding aside, as the M's look to score at least one player -- Melky Cabrera or Brett Gardner -- as well as getting the Yankees to take all of Washburn's salary (no way Seattle lands both players, even if they try), they actually do have some cards to play. I don't see this brought up very often, but the July 31 trade deadline is in fact, merely the deadline where players can be dealt without having to clear waivers.

So, what would happen if the M's tried to deal Washburn after July 31? Why, he'd have to clear waivers first. And if another team put a claim in on him -- either out of sheer interest or merely to "block" a trade to New York -- then Washburn could be recalled by the M's, or that team putting in the claim could wind up with him -- at full cost.

How does that hurt the M's? It would only hurt if the Yankees were sending players back the other way. A scuttled deal would be a scuttled deal. No one gets anything.

But what if it's a cash-only deal with maybe a mediocre prospect coming Seattle's way? Well then, heck, all the M's would lose is a next-to-nothing prospect.

In other words, the real deadline for the M's, if the Yankees stick to their negotiating stance of merely picking up Washburn's contract, while sending a breathing body to the M's for appearances' sake, isn't really July 31. It's actually Aug. 31.

What harm would there be to Seattle completing such a cash-only deal with the Yanks in two weeks? If the Cards were to jump in and claim Washburn before the deal could go through, then St. Louis would get stuck with the pitcher's remaining salary through 2009. Makes no difference to the M's. Other than the two weeks more that Seattle would have to pay Washburn. Minimial money, considering he still is owed roughly 33 weeks more in pay on his contract.

So, why not sit around and wait? The really interesting part is, Washburn won't have to make another start between now and July 31. He's always going to be as good as that eight-inning, one run outing yesterday, or that 2.29 earned run average his past nine outings. Not the Yankees pitchers. They will have to head out three more times between now and Thursday's trade deadline.

The pressure is already mounting on the Yanks after Sir Sidney Ponson yesterday hit his targets less often than he did that judge on the beaches of Aruba a few years back. Ponson was exposed by the Boston Red Sox, the same way many have predicted Washburn would be exposed as a "fluke" going on two months now.

Well, that part hasn't happened. At least, not yet. Some folks in New York still think it will.

For the M's, that waiting part is over. Washburn did not get "exposed" prior to July 31. If he blows up Aug. 5 in a Yankees uniform, it's not their problem. But Ponson did blow up. Tonight, the Yanks will get to send problem-solver Mike Mussina to the mound against a slumping Orioles squad. But things might get dicey with the inconsistent Darrell Rasner going tomorrow night, though he's had success versus Baltimore thus far.

But even if the Yankees sweep Baltimore behind several stellar pitching performances, they'll still have to deal with the Ponson question four days from now. Would Washburn be an upgrade over Ponson? This is the question Yankees' brass will have to be asking themselves if the health status of Chien Ming Wang and others remains uncertain.

In other words, the M's can take this thing right to Thursday's deadline without pitching Washburn again. They can wait to see if another team -- it won't be the Brewers, a team source told me they're done with starting pitchers and most likely bullpen arms as well -- jumps into the fray. Perhaps the St. Louis Cardinals, still in the thick of the AL Central and wild-card races despite starting to lose more regularly of late.

Seattle can call the Yankees' bluff. Once it's clear the Yankees won't throw in anything more than a token prospect, the M's could wait until after the July 31 deadline, then turn around and swing a Washburn-for-salary-owed deal on Aug. 1. He still wouldn't have to pitch again.

There are, of course, risks with this strategy -- to both sides.

If the M's wait and the Yanks lose interest, they could get stuck having to keep Washburn and pay all of his remaining salary. If he pitches well, they could get something near his league-average numbers he usually produces, then deal him next winter or next July. If he tanks, they'd owe him another $13.6 million at a time when they have two other major league ready lefties -- Ryan Rowland-Smith and Ryan Feierabend -- in their system.

But if the Yanks wait too long, figuring they'll squeeze the M's past the deadline, then pick up Washburn for just the cash, another team could jump into the fray. Maybe more. Then, the M's could still have a bidding war of sorts. Maybe not for anyone that would be grabbed off waivers in a deal. But perhaps the M's force a team to take on a lesser player -- one who could pass through waivers -- in addition to Washburn.

Or, maybe the M's just ship Washburn to any team but the Yankees just for the salary cost. A little payback for the brinkmanship games.

The two above scenarios are unlikely to take place. But they could. The Yanks really aren't in any kind of major drivers' seat here. The Mariners have money. They have eaten large payroll before. Perhaps they are willing to gamble that Washburn's turnaround is legit and that he finishes the year a league average starter. You can get something for those at the winter meetings. Even at a $10 million salary. It's only for one year.

To the reader who asked me whether Washburn was losing trade value by pitching yesterday -- given how that's one fewer game he'll pitch for the Yankees -- my answer is, yes, that's one way to view things. Here's another. The Yankees already trail in both the AL East and wild-card race. Every other day that goes by is one fewer day they'll have to make those games up. Every day that Ponson, or some other starter, gets hammered in a New York uniform while Washburn remains in Seattle represents one more wasted opportunity by the Yankees. And fewer remaining days to get everything right. Every New York loss requires a higher winning percentage by the Yanks the rest of the way to make the post-season.

Is this a right or wrong question? Nope. Is the future laid out in black and white? No way. Once again, as with real life every day, this is a serious question the Yankees and Mariners will have to answer for themselves.

What do I think?

Based on all I've written above, if the Yankees are going to squeeze the M's to give Washburn up for nothing but salary, Seattle may be able to take a calculated risk and play some poker as well. Even beyond July 31. We've seen what they have to lose. But if it's gaining a legitimate prospect like Gardner, they may be able to string this out and take the Yankees to the very brink. I compared it to a game of "chicken" yesterday where one car ends up in the ditch. Thing is, even if the M's keep driving straight ahead at the oncoming Yankees vehicle, there likely won't be a head-on-collision come deadline time. Not for the M's. If all that's being offered is to pay Washburn's salary, the only team that may have to swerve come deadline time is the Yankees. Seattle will have very little to lose.

And when's the last time we saw the M's putting pressure on the Yankees? By my count, just before Game 4 of the 2000 ALCS as Roger Clemens was warming up in the bullpen and had yet to throw a pitch in anger. That was eight years ago. And too often, on the negotiating front, the M's front office has looked just like their A-Rod did eight years ago dusting off the dirt from a Clemens brush-back pitch.

It must be refreshing, I'd think, for some fans to see a change. Even if it's only for another week or so.

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Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:44 AM, Jul 28, 2008

"In the three years I played with him, we never scored any runs for him," Sexson said. "He should have a lot more wins."

The joke writes itself, on this one.

Posted by Ryan

9:59 AM, Jul 28, 2008


You stole my thunder. Like a quote from Sexson about lack of offense has any merit at all. I got a chuckle out of that one.

In all seriousness though. I think the M's hold all the cards in this trade. Why not wait?? See if you can get the Yankees to add either Gardner or Cabrera, if not, don't do the deal. Who would have thought that therse next 4 days waiting to see what happens with Washburn would be the highlight of our season. I guess that's what happens when it's July 28 and you're 25 games out of first place.

Posted by Patrick F.

9:59 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Why not try to negotiate another deal with another team, to force NY's hand? Maybe other teams, like St. Louis or any other National League club have something better to offer, but the Yankees have the money advantage.

I just read elsewhere that the Yankees are considering dealing Cabrera to the Royals for Brian Bannister.

Waivers would be a nice move, but after such a lousy season, I'd rather see the M's get something for Wash.

Posted by Searle

10:03 AM, Jul 28, 2008

yes but baseball isnt charity, both sides have to feel pain in a trade...obviously Seattle entered into these discussions because they don't like the money owed to Washburn, so the Yanks have an advantage with money....there is no guarantee Washburn can pitch in slugging AL East.

Posted by Ryan

10:04 AM, Jul 28, 2008

I'm confused as to why they think Bannister can command Cabrera, but Washburn can't. I love this part of baseball!! Should be a fun 4 days.

Posted by Bobby Hill

10:07 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Very interesting column and I agree -- the Mariners hold the cards and should be dealing from a position of power.

But I really don't understand the fuss about Melky Cabrera. Sure he's young and has potential, but he's been in the league a few years now and really hasn't shown much. He would just be another 4th outfielder on the Seattle Mariners.

Get Gardner!

Posted by Trade Melky

10:13 AM, Jul 28, 2008

There is no way Yankees will trade Melky Cabrera this season.
The trying for Brett Gardner was not working for the past two weeks.Brett Gardner is either overmatched or not ready.He post a 0.153 avg while k'd 17 times in 59 ab.So they need Melky so far unless they trade for another cf(which is likely impossible).Johnny Demon still can not field for now(he hurt his shoulder a few weeks ago, and he is no loger a good cf.Nady is not a full time cf,and if he plays cf means Demon needs to play lf ,it's a risk for Yankees.If they still think high

Posted by xarmyguy1978

10:14 AM, Jul 28, 2008

I am just wondering, couldn't the M's do a trade where they dump Washburns salary off on the Yankees and ONE of the two guys already mentioned and then add a player to be named later based on the remainder of Washburns season?

Would that work and do you think it would work out for the M's (if say Washburn really has found the missing link)

Posted by Trade Melky

10:14 AM, Jul 28, 2008

If they still think high on Gardner,they would not trade Gardner.

Posted by Bob

10:17 AM, Jul 28, 2008

The M's will be lucky to unload the contract. There's no way the Yanks will trade their starting center fielder... regardless of the fact that Melky can't hit. They won't give up Gardner either. Even if Ponson goes out and loses again - Yanks will just give Ian Kennedy, who's dominating in AAA, another shot at the rotation. M's are getting greedy in my opinion.

Posted by youmustbekidding

10:18 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Jarrod Washburn isn't "the key" to putting any team over the top... #5 starters never are.

The idea that the Mariners believe the Yankees view him as such, or that Hank Steinbrenner is going to demand GM Brian Cashman start throwing legit prospects onto the pile in addition to $14 million is absurd.

Little Boss Hank didn't runover Cashman when JOHAN SANTANA was on the table... Now he's going to do it for Jarrod frickin' Washburn???


Posted by CraigMM

10:20 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Your theory is true if we were in a bubble, but we are not. The Yankees do have leverage in that Wang will be back in September, Hughes will be back in August and Kennedy can be called up now. All three of these pitchers (eespecially Wang and ahealthy Hughes) are better that Washburn and they cost NOTHING. So, the Yankees are looking at 4-6 starts, at most, with Washburn until Wang is back. That is not likely to be so significant to the Yankees for them to give up any prospect of worth that they could hold onto or use in another deal. Yoru scenario is only true if the Yankees didn't have any of these guys as possibilities.

Posted by Paul

10:24 AM, Jul 28, 2008

The thing I don't get is why the M's are so desperate to deal Washburn that they'd throw him away for just cash. I'm all for dealing him to New York for a prospect like Gardner, but why risk letting another team take him on waivers? He's pitching better than anyone else on the team (sans Felix) right now. It's probably a fluke, but who cares? I'm supposed to believe the M's have some grand plan for spending $10 million this offseason? Seems more like an effort to avoid charter membership in the 100/100 Club.

Posted by BWare

10:25 AM, Jul 28, 2008


The M's have little leverage in the scenarios you contemplate. While your points are quite accurate, especially in the post-trade-deadline scenarios, there are a few things that have been overlooked...

1) Washburn's salary is now well north of market in the current market for his productivity, which leads to the conundrum...

2) After July 31, everybody and their mother will be putting their high-salaried personnel on waivers - to include pitchers whose salaries are priced closer to market. Washburn will be just another name on the waiver wire;

If the M's primary objective is to dump salary, then it is better that they take the dump now while they have it. Who else on the market is going to absorb Washburn's overpriced salary? Why would the Yankees not poach a, say, Paul Byrd off of waivers.

Remember, this is a back-of-the-rotation acquisition for the Yankees. They need innings, not necessarily a lefty - although a lefty would be a nice bonus at the right price.

At any rate, Washburn can still be moved at whatever date, but if the M's want prospects to boot, then they will have to buy them, in effect, by shipping some salary. The real risk to the M's is that the Yankees claim an at-market BOTR type after July 31, leaving the M's holding the bag with prospects...all salary.

Best they take the dump now...or try to move him at season's end.

Posted by Mike

10:29 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Paul---The thing is $10M of salary relief is a pretty big deal, especially when you consider that RRS and maybe Morrow could be ready to join the rotation.

If only Batista and Johjima had gotten hot like Wash and we could move another $17M off the books.

Posted by scottM

10:34 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Sexon's comment is ironic, but it points out the obvious. If the M's could cure its offensive woes, AND we knew that Washburn would pitch the rest of this season and all of next at the level he's exhibited since June 1st, then why not keep both Washburn and Bedard for the 2009 season.

Front office mismanagement (Bavasi) fielded this pathetic offensive team, and, as a fan, I don't care if the team is going to shed $13 million if that investment is not put to better player use elsewhere. If the M's get back a solid prospect from the Yankees, and shed Washburn's salary, I still want to know if those dollars are going to be spent on another Free Agent and not for belt tightening only. There is no way to have an intelligent discussion about this trade without knowing how the M's front office intends to use the money saved. Personally, I want a better team!!!

Posted by kaseyswagger

10:42 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Honestly I think Cashman should give us a top 5 prospect for Wash and eat the contract that way he has a better farm system when he becomes the Mariners GM next year lol.

No but seriously I think we should get either Bret GArdener or Melky Cabrera one of them and they eat the contract because Washburn might be the best available starter right now he has a 2.44 ERA in his last 9 starts or something like that.

Posted by rudolf

10:59 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Everyone can call Washburn overrated or a fluke, but the bottom line is he's pitching like a #3 starter. Whether you believe he'll keep it up or not, he's keeping it up pretty darn good right now. This isn't the first time Jarrod Washburn has been dominant, either.

The Yanks are taking a major risk in relying on Kennedy or Hughes, not to mention Wang's return from injury. If they fail to make the playoffs with that massive payroll and cheap out at the chance to pick up one of the hottest players in baseball, they're gonna hear it.

Posted by JP

11:00 AM, Jul 28, 2008

To me it doesn't matter when or how we get rid of him it's just the simple fact of getting rid of him. To expect anything in return for a guy who has done nothing but pitch well below mediocre while here in Seattle then ditching his 2009 salary should be the focus. If we get someone in return great, if not i don't care. I just don't want to see his lame ass in an M's uni next year.

Posted by Soonerman22

11:15 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Screw the Yankees. I am all for holding out on them. What is the worst that could happen the Mariners keep losing? I want Gardner!!! I also like the idea of sending him through wavers and the oppertunity of anyone getting him not just the Yankees. I would like to see the Cardnals step up though and start a bidding war. Washburn would be better in the NL as you have said many times Geoff and he isn't a bad hitter either. Screw New York, we can wait all day if they want.

Posted by Norwester

11:20 AM, Jul 28, 2008

The M's front office should bear in mind and say to the Yankees:

If you're not desperate for a starting pitcher, why did you sign Sidney Ponson?

Posted by Jeremy Reed

11:21 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Brett Gardner just screams Jeremey Reed to me. Send Washburn to Texas for Nelson Cruz or Florida for Dallas McPherson. Take a shot at a post hype talent that's never had a legit full time shot at the bigs.

Posted by Go M's!

11:24 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Can someone comment on what kind of player Victor Diaz is? He's got 19 HR's and 78 RBI in Tacoma this year. He's 27 years old. Has he earned a shot in the Big Leagues?

Posted by Norwester

11:26 AM, Jul 28, 2008

"To me it doesn't matter when or how we get rid of him it's just the simple fact of getting rid of him. To expect anything in return for a guy who has done nothing but pitch well below mediocre while here in Seattle then ditching his 2009 salary should be the focus. If we get someone in return great, if not i don't care. I just don't want to see his lame ass in an M's uni next year."

Washburn has a 3.05 ERA since June 1st. That's a 3.05 ERA through nine starts with a crappy defense behind him.

Posted by The Centerfield Bum

11:33 AM, Jul 28, 2008

The M's objective has to be to improve the team, so given how well Washburn has pitched over roughly the past two months, there is no point in just dumping his salary right now. That can be done in August.

If the Yankees want to improve their team this year, then they'll need to offer a decent prospect for Washburn. Otherwise, they can go with the rotation they've got. Clearly, the Yankees need exceeds the M's need to just dump Washburn's salary.

Posted by yankeemza

11:52 AM, Jul 28, 2008

Yeah, but remember that on aug 31 Wang, Hughes and Pavano will be a week or two away from returning. All just as good as Washburn With Wang being much, much better than washburn

Posted by Pat (Brookfield CT)

12:02 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Hey Geoff check out Buster Olney's blog on this exact subject. He doesn't agree with you. He thinks the Mariners would be crazy not to take the Yankees offer as it currently stands.

Posted by BaseballGuru

12:10 PM, Jul 28, 2008


It's actually 2.81 ERA in his last 11 starts... You may be right, but Washurn has been even more impressive that 3.05 ERA in 9.


Washburn owns the AL East (his 3 bad starts were against DET, CWS, and CLE), they aren't that great.

Patrick F.,

The Royals won't trade Bannister, they already said they aren't sellers as they think they can win the central next year... Bannister costs pennies, which is why Melky would be included, but with Guillen, DeJesus, and Teahen, there's no room for Melky, not even at DH... Bannister isn't going to be moved, they need pitching too badly in KC.

Trade Melky,

Abreu would play center, he's more than capable and has experience.


they could probably get one guy and scrub prospect for him now, but they are holding out for both because Washburn at the least will be a Type B free agent when offered arb and could be a Type A, especially playing for the Yankees where his win total between now and the end of next season should sky-rocket... They average the last two seasons and you only need to be top 40% to be worth two 2nd round or better prospects and 20% to be worth two 1st round prospects... This includes injuries which knocks you down quickly, inability, poor stats, and all players who have joined the MLBPA, which is a heck of a lot of medicrrity that get Washburn into the mid to high 20s range, but that could improve!

Trade Melky,

Maybe they are still high on Gardner, but realize that they'll never promote him up as they'll make another dump FA signing move that'll inevitably block him as they do with all their prospects, why not trade him if he does'n't fit into your long term plans?!

Posted by BaseballGuru

12:13 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Pat in CT,

Olney and Rosenthal are gossip columnists for baseball, if you don't know that, then I'm sorry you never figured it out... Olney is a fool that talks out of both sides of his mouth... I don't ever agree with Baker especially about trading Bedard, but he is absolutely 100 right about Washburn. This isn't a dimocracy, Seattle is doing what they do and I'm glad!

Posted by BaseballGuru

12:15 PM, Jul 28, 2008


do what they want to do

is this TypeKey, what the heck?!

Posted by Stat Prof

12:16 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Why do the Ms have to get rid of Washburn?

That's the part i don't get. He can be moved in the off season.

What is the advantage of dumping his salary if you don't get some value in return? You can't fill personnel gaps in a franchise like Seattle purely with $$. $$ can't play CF (he's got less range than Vidro, and an arm that's worse the Bloomie's).

Furthermore, Gardner is the more a prospect on the level of a Russ Davis, not some major prospect. The yankees historically talk up prospects they don't believe in just so that they can pawn them off in trades like this.

Gardner is fair compensation for Wash, and the only real fair deal would be Wash - Gardner, Yankees take on the salary.

Posted by BaseballGuru

12:18 PM, Jul 28, 2008

It's getting really old hearing Yankee fans talk about Wang, Hughes, and Kennedy like they are demi-Gods, Wang is the east coast version of Garland, average at best. Hughes has lots of upside, but then again, there are still a lot of doubts about whether he can produce consistently without being injured, etc. Kennedy has proven he's very far from the majors, you can't will him to throw QS or Ponson wouldn't have got worked yesterday!

Posted by Frankie

12:38 PM, Jul 28, 2008

"Yeah, but remember that on aug 31 Wang, Hughes and Pavano will be a week or two away from returning. All just as good as Washburn With Wang being much, much better than washburn"

Pavano will throw 1 inning and then go back on the DL, and if you think Phil Hughes is going to get you to the playoffs, then you obviously have not watched the Yankees this year....

Posted by yanksfan

12:41 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Why in the blue hell would Cashman give up his starting CF to upgrade his #5 starter from Ponson, who other than last night has done a decent job for the minimum salary, to Washburn, who will make 8 figures this year and next and has been below average for a larger sample size, a good couple of years? In a couple of weeks he will have 4 respectable options for the #5 spot in the rotation: Ponson, Kennedy (who pitched a 1 hitter in AAA a couple of days ago), Hughes, and Pavano. Why give up anything of value for Washburn? If you M's fans think Hank Steinbrenner will try to step in and demand Cashman make this deal for the almighy Jarrod Washburn, like he tried to do for the Santana trade, keep dreaming. I honestly hope Seattle keeps Washburn, and their "leverage."

Posted by peter425

12:49 PM, Jul 28, 2008

M's just traded Washburn to NYY for Sexon

Posted by Martin

12:56 PM, Jul 28, 2008

I don't know if it has been discussed but Washburn also has experience playing in the World Series. There are a few young pitchers out there that have done well playing in front of the big stage but not a lot. If the Yankees think they have a legitimate playoff chance I could see them going after Washburn over Bannister or many other pitchers that are out there it will be interesting to see though.

Posted by BWare

12:58 PM, Jul 28, 2008

"The M's front office should bear in mind and say to the Yankees:

If you're not desperate for a starting pitcher, why did you sign Sidney Ponson?"

Yankee respnse:

"Ponson was bought on the cheap with high upside in the reclamation. Moreover, if the reclamation is unsuccessful, then our cost of scuttling is negligible. Quite the opposite with respect to Washburn.

BTW - who advised you on the Washburn pricing?"

Posted by meagain

1:06 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Why Washburn instead of Ponson?

First, because Washburn is a lefty. And, the ballpark dimensions will be the same in the new stadium.

Second, Washburn has a heart bigger than a garter snake's. Sir Sidney, not so much.

Third, Washburn will allow the other players a turn at the postgame spread.

On another matter, that Sexson joke has jumped the shark.

Posted by Chuck

1:07 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Scottm and you Yankee haters (like me).

We can screw the Yankees and get a hell of a pitcher in return for salary. Washburn to the Yankees and when he reverts to form and falls on his a**, the Yankees miss the playoffs. The Ms keep doing what they're doing, and get the number 1 draft pick and we use the Wash bucks to pay that kick a$$ college kid and his cut throat agent. Its a win-win for us!

Posted by fred

1:11 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Good analysis of the Mariners' options. Yes, the Mariners probably should play their hand until the deadline to see if the Yankees will sweeten their side of the deal. In the meantime, let us hope that some other team also makes a Washburn trade offer. His recent outings show that Washburn has hit his stride, at least for now, and that he would be a valuable 2008 addition to a pennant contender.
On the other hand, the Mariners should be willing to accept almost any respectable player/players in return for Washburn in order to rid themselves of his 2008-9 money.

Ibanez, too, has performed well recently and should have value to a contending team. If no good ofer is made, though, the Mariners could just let him play out 2008 and then get two high draft choices in return when he signs elsewhere in the off-season. Rhodes, Vidro, Batista, Burke, Cairo?
Take anything to clear the payroll and roster for the longer term.

Posted by Lance

1:17 PM, Jul 28, 2008

If Cashman wants to hold the line and rest his hopes on Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner, fine. Hey, it's only his job on the line.

I think Wash IS for real. Not like he hasn't ever done this before. Even his Seattle record could have been a lot better had he gotten better run support at times. There's a lot worse things than Wash trade talk this winter. Salary aside, teams will be coming to us for both Jarrod and Bedard. We can trade one, or both, and fill two or three spots in the rotation internally.

The M's are under no pressure to deal starting pitching now. Let the new GM show what he can do.

I just hope they announce an extension for Raul. Keep him around for 2009 without having to give up a high draft choice to get him back.

Posted by B'Ham

1:19 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Why not ship jamie burke or kenji out with washburn since the yankees need a catcher and we have a log jam at the position. I know it makes it harder to ship out johjima because of his new contract but if he regresses to his mean statistically he could be very valuable to the yankees and be comporable to jorge posada production wise. There is the problem that posada has 3 years left on his contract after this season.

Posted by rickyab

1:48 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Not 100% percent sure of the rule, but couldn't the Mariners have put Washburn through waivers in May when he was terrible and he cleared, thus making him tradable for all of August? Clarification?

Posted by RustyJohn

1:52 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Agree with CraigMM- right now the Yankees are looking at the following- they have Ian Patrick Kennedy in AAA- he just threw a one hitter last week, is back from injury and, although disappointing at the beginning of the year, is an option. In a month they will likely have Phil Hughes and the Ghost of Carl Pavano available. Maybe, just maybe, they will have Wang available.

They also have another option other than IPK- they have a guy named Dan Giese who has made a start or two in the majors and is currently their long reliever. He pitched four innings of two run ball last night.

So things are not so dire in the Bronx. They will be if Rasner craps all over himself though. If he can pitch well (5 or 6 innings and 3 runs), the Yanks may say, "Let's plug Giese or IPK in" or, "Let's wait until September."

If people are waiting for Hank the Tank to come in and demand a trade keep in mind that this is Cashman's team- Hank is third on the rung of decision making. Look at Cashman (Cashman's, not George's) trade history- what makes you think he'd give away the store? He just got the third best hitter in the NL and a premier leftie reliever locked up for two years for three AAA starters who will at best be #5 starters in the bigs plus a headcase for a prospect.

Two years ago he got Abreu and a #5 starter in Liddle for three no-name prospects.

He also traded away Randy Johnson who needed his back fused and got a utility player, a starter (who was just traded to the Pirates) and a very useful Vizcaino as a reliever and dumped salary. He is not an idiot. Mariners GM's on the other hand...

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

2:04 PM, Jul 28, 2008

I can't understand any eagerness on the part of the M's to dump Washburn & his 2009 salary - Wash has only been our #2 sp for the past two months and is showing signs of continued success now that he is controlling his changeup. I would hold the line with the Yankees unless they include either Cabrera or Gardner as part of the deal. Only real upside to dumpiing Washburn right now is that the team will lose more frequently giving us a shot to beat out the tanking Nationals and Padres for the right to draft S. Strasburg next June.

Posted by RustyJohn

2:12 PM, Jul 28, 2008

"Wang is the east coast version of Garland, average at best."

Wang 2006: 19-6, 218 IP, 3.63 ERA, ERA+ 124, WHIP 1.30
Wang 2007: 19-7, 199 IP, 3.70 ERA, ERA+ 121, WHIP 1.29
Wang 2008 (injured): 8-2, 95 IP, 4.07 ERA, ERA+ 101, WHIP 1.31

Garland 2006: 18-7, 211 IP, 4.5 ERA, ERA+105, WHIP 1.36
Garland 2007: 10-13, 208 IP, 4.23 ERA, ERA+112, WHIP 1.32
Garland 2008: 9-6, 132 IP, 4.3 ERA, ERA+97, WHIP 1.45

Ummm, I would say of that three year sample that Wang's worst year (this year) is probably as good as Garland's best year.

If you look at 2006 and 2007, Wang had better years than King Felix in all categories except strike-outs. Yet Felix is revered as a God here and you crap on Wang? Get real.

Posted by JP

2:27 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Norwester you are going to throw these stats at us? "Washburn has a 3.05 ERA since June 1st. That's a 3.05 ERA through nine starts with a crappy defense behind him."

How bout these numbers...!
8 and 14 4.67 era
10 and 15 4.32 era
Those were his first two seasons with us! What proves more? The last 9 starts or his previous 63 where he posted the aforementioned numbers. Regardless of his win loss record on crappy teams just look at his ERA over those two seasons.

He's 33 years old who has been pitching beyond his real abilities. He will surely slip back to the old wash but i would just like that to happen on a different team who would then still be forced to pay him 10 mill a year.

Posted by Excuse Me

2:37 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Geoff, Cards play in the NL, not the AL....

Posted by meagain

2:52 PM, Jul 28, 2008

I don't want to stretch this comparison too far, but the careers of Washburn and Jamie Moyer have some similarities. Actually, Washburn's early career is better than Jamie's. If Washburn really has learned to throw his change efficiently over the long haul, he may have quite a career ahead of him. So, while I've written him off for the Mariners--the signs are falshing that he doesn't like it in Seattle--do not write off his career.

He's not as meticulous as Moyer, so I don't expect him to last as long. But I could see him pitching successfully until he's 40. Some GM might have that in mind if he takes a flyer on Washburn. Whether Cashman will roll those dice, we shall see.

Posted by meagain

3:08 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Meanwhile I note that the oldtimer, Larry LaRue, has pronounced the Washburn trade dead on arrival.

Posted by smith

3:13 PM, Jul 28, 2008

I am surprised at The Yankees. They used to be a force to be reckoned with. When they needed something/someone they went and got it.

Sure they robbed Pittsburgh.

But they struckout on Johan Santana, now they are balking with Washburn. The funny thing is that they have an offense that is capable of winning the World Series. Unfortunately their pitching is not of the same caliber. Maybe they are waiting for another sucker like Pittsburgh to come along?

I find it hard to believe that another team has no interest in Washburn. Sure he is not Sabbathia, but he does his job, and with a decent offense he could be a 15 game winner. Especially on a NL team.

I say the Mariners sit on Washburn until they get something this team needs. If they don't get what they need, don't trade him.

Posted by JP

3:23 PM, Jul 28, 2008

so you sit on wash if we don't get anything in return? why? keeping him and his 10 mill salary on next years team just stunts the growth of our young starters Morrow and RRS. Essentially not trading Wash means that we throw the same five starters out there next year. We can't do that. We are already stuck with Silva and Bedard for next year. Felix will be back so that is fine. And you are stuck with Badtista for another year as well at 9 mill a year.

We need to open up a slot for either Morrow or RRS or both. Put Badtista in the pen. Save the 10 mill or reinvest it in Manny. He is a free agent at the end of the year. With the savings of 8 mill for Vidro, 15 mill from Sexson, 7 mill for Ibanez, and 10 mill for trading Wash, we could get Manny and still have money left over to fill the other "holes" in the offense.

Posted by JP

3:29 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Also, freeing up Washburns contract (assuming the M's would spend a 100 million next year...) we could sign Manny in FA, Griffey to fill the DH role (.246 ba / 14 HR / 50 rbi) Better than what we have now at DH. And even have money left over to go after Texeira. (if only we could play fantasy GM for real)

Also bringing in Griffey would put butts in the seats whish as we all know the M's FO is very fond of doing.

Posted by meagain

3:35 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Re Manny, will the M's erect a 30-foot wall in left and bring the fences in 40 feet so he can play second DH as he does in Boston?

For those who think Ibanez is bad in left, I'd like to see what you'd have to say with Manny roaming the greensward out there.

Posted by JP

3:56 PM, Jul 28, 2008

meagain, you're right. Defensively he is absolutely a liability(Manny). But his bat, oh man can he hit. Would it be worth sacrificing the D for his offense? I guess if you thought you would contend next year you would, but i think you just talked me out of the Manny scenario. Since we will probably not contend for another couple years why waste the money.

meagain you're good. you just talked me out of this deal. Crap now i have to find some other guy to throw into the hat for possible free agent aquistion in 09.

Posted by DAVID

3:57 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Anyone who says we trade him simply to dump salary is an idiot! We have leverage with Washburn! We can cash in with him! WE HAVE THE MONEY! WE NEED TALENT!!!

Posted by Bill

3:59 PM, Jul 28, 2008

If the M's sign Manny it had better be to DH and not to play OF

Posted by meagain

4:02 PM, Jul 28, 2008

JP, if I'm so good, why don't I provide an answer instead of just kibitzing? I don't have one.

I want left-handed power with patience at the plate. I think Clement will supply that someday, but I'm not sold on him defensively. And I'm reading that Ibanez is at the top of the Met's wish list; who's going to replace him?

In the House Built for Griffey, the M's should have a farm system stocked with lefty power. But noooo...

Posted by Mike

4:05 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Um, I think dumping Washburn and his $10M '09 salary would be a good thing and I'm pretty sure I'm not an idiot. Now, I admit that once that $10M is available for someone else that we need to intelligently spend it as opposed to our track record of giving mediocre pitchers huge contracts but by golly if we can get out of one of those, do it.

Good write-up on Washburn at LL.

Posted by JuneauTom

4:07 PM, Jul 28, 2008

It looks to me that the Florida Marlins should be dealing with the M's instead of the Yankee's. The Marlins need a catcher, a left handed reliever, and a starting pitcher. Looks like the M's could shed a lot of salary and the Marlins always seem to have good prospects.

Posted by Mike

4:13 PM, Jul 28, 2008

The Marlins won't take on big salary...but Rhodes is rumored to be heading there.

Posted by doc28

5:34 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Washburn looks like a bargan compared to Silva ($12 mil/year) and Bautista (i think $9mill/year). With pitching at a premium, shouldn't we keep this in mind for the rest of the season and next, and heading into the offseason? mediocre arms are getting big bucks. why not hold onto Washburn and hope his luck continues.

Posted by Trade Melky

6:23 PM, Jul 28, 2008

There is no way that Abreu can play center,I thought you are just being sarcastic,he already sucks in rf.Yankees fans know that.

And there is no way Wang is Garland.Wang was actually having a best year beofere got hurt.His k rate raises a lot this year,if not hurt his number will be much better than this by the end of year.

Posted by Victor

9:42 PM, Jul 28, 2008

Perception is key in life isn't?

And as much as we love the M's - lets face the facts - they fired their GM, they fired their manager, and they had an awesome manager leave before the All Star break with a winning team for no real explainable reason.

Definition = DISARRAY Perception = CHAOS

Seattle Sports outside of the Sea hawks are viewed as a joke - they sell their teams and then whine they were deceived.

The M's have no strength at this point and they have no real weakness. The reason for this - they really have no game plan for the future. They are still trying to get their management together. WE will probably see a new GM and a new Manager next year.

The Yankees ditto but for different reasons - they have Wang and Kennedy back in a month - Kennedy could be back sooner - they also can spot start a few other guys in the interim till Wang comes back. All calculated risks - but the bottom line for the Yanks is they are in trouble if they are worrying about a 5th starter.

Washout would be gravy for the Yankees but even with him they are no sure thing. The team is old and their old guys have barely hung in there now. Additionally they are plague with injuries all year and inconsistency too.

I actually expect no trade to take place and neither team will be at a loss - this is wasted space on a player well past his prime.


Posted by DukeCT

6:47 AM, Jul 29, 2008

I'm a Yanks fan. If the M's want to dump Washburn's salary, they should move quick. The Yanks have 4 pitchers coming of IR in the next month. Kennedy just pitched a no-hitter in AAA. Hughes and Pavano are doing rehabs Tuesday. Wang just got his boot off. In another month Ponson and Rasner should be out of the rotation.

If the M's don't care about carrying the salary, then there's no problem hanging on. Maybe they'll get lucky and the Mets will have to replace Maine. No one else is going to take on that payroll, least of all the Cards.

Better luck next year. Love you wonderful city.

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