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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 25, 2008 9:05 AM

No-trade clause? Small problem

Posted by Geoff Baker

The final week leading into the July 31 trade deadline is upon us and -- as expected -- this is when things truly start to get serious. As many of you have already heard, the New York Yankees held an organizational meeting in Tampa yesterday to try to narrow down trade targets. Not surprisingly, the name of Jarrod Washburn keeps coming up.

As we mentioned a while back, shedding Washburn makes sense for the Mariners. He's an attractive commodity simply in being lefthanded. He's putting up some strong numbers. He's not going to cost teams an arm and a leg. And he's not really going to help the Mariners win a title next season. Washburn would allow you to eat another 190 innings or so out of the rotation if all goes well. But the team has surplus in lefty starting pitching. Even if Ryan Rowland-Smith doesn't work out, you've still got Ryan Feierabend. It's time to move on.

There's been a hullabaloo of sorts over Washburn's no-trade clause. Some have speculated that Washburn would want a contract extension if he's to go to New York. Of course he'd like an extension based off seven good weeks of pitching. Who wouldn't? It's not going to happen. As you can see from this fan blog in NYC, there's plenty of angst about taking a gamble on Washburn beyond even this season, let alone 2009.

But hey, a player has to try to get the most he can. But, as with all things in a negotiation, once you see the plausible and the totally impractical, you move away from the latter and towards the former. To me, this whole no-trade thing represents a very minor obstacle. Here's how it works: in the majors, players have these no-trade deals inserted in their contracts. It's a negotiated clause and, as in most business negotiations in the non-sports world, if you want out of a contract clause, you have to give something up in return. It's more a token gesture than anything else. Sometimes, you can buy your way out for $50,000. Gets the player an extra car, or a nice round-the-world cruise for the family over the winter.

The thing is, the player worked hard to get the no-trade into the contract. Most of them will be reluctant to give it up for nothing.

So, if you're the Mariners and you have a chance to offload more than $13 million to the Yankees in Washburn's remaining salary, are you going to risk scuttling the deal over a $50,000 payout? Or a $200,000 payout? A $500,000 payout? No, you're not. Well, you're not unless you're really dumb. No jokes please. I'm being serious. Well, a few jokes, but let's not sidetrack the discussion. Even if the Yanks balk at ponying up some cash for Washburn, the M's could always do it if push came to shove. Like I said, they aren't going to blow a cash-shedding move of this proportion over a small fraction of dough.


It's a non-issue. Seriously, it is. Do you think for a moment that Washburn, well into his 30s, is going to want to stick it out for a rebuilding job in Seattle next season if he has a shot at going to a contender? In a place, Yankee Stadium, where he's pitched well during his career?

Yes, he's more a small-town guy. But at worst, he'll be there one full season in 2009. I think he can handle it. He may say otherwise. Of course he will. It's a negotiation. But ultimately, I'd be shocked if Washburn doesn't get moved.

One thing that intrigues me in the Washburn deal is seeing the name of Yankees outfield prospect Brett Gardner now amongst the possible trade returns being bandied about. This blog points out why Gardner would be interesting for the M's.

The guy gets on base. At least, he did in Class AAA. An OBP higher than .400? Gardner drew walks once every six at-bats in his AAA career? They've outlawed that in Seattle, haven't they? Much like jaywalking? Gardner plays the game well, too. A solid defender, who can also get bunts down. Imagine having a center fielder who plays the game right, gets on base, steals bases and disrupts opposing pitchers? Oh wait, the M's had that last season. Not so much any more. Ichiro had one of his typical all-star years in 2007. Didn't walk, but otherwise was a serious disruption to opponents for an 88-win squad. Now, he's not as dazzling at the plate and he's a right fielder. Obviously, if Gardner became the center fielder, you'd have a bit of a power outage in the outfield. A serious power outage. That duo would have to steal a whole lot of bases to make up for the lack of extra-base hits. But hey, it would at least give fans something to get excited about at the top of the order. Any deal that involves Gardner would give the M's a return I didn't think was possible in a Washburn trade. Yes, they might have to take on some pricier players as well. It's why Washburn's not going to get a seven-figure buyout of his no-trade -- simply because it will be impossible to offload every dime of his contract. But now, if Gardner's name is in there, you're talking about getting some value back. Having Kei Igawa shoved down your throat, at $4 million for each of the next three years, becomes a little more palatable if you think you have your center fielder of the future in Gardner.

So, these are some of the ideas and issues being tossed around by the M's for now.

What do you folks think? Igawa's put up some decent Class AAA numbers. It isn't the numbers that have ruined his name less than two years out of Japan. Well, OK, maybe the major league totals have hurt his reputation. But it's more a money thing. He's being paid an awful lot to be a good AAA pitcher.

Still, the M's are used to throwing away money. Gardner would be under club control for years to come. You could split the difference and look at it as roughtly $4.5 million for a starting center fielder and a decent AAA lefty starter. Not to mention shaving off all those millions for Washburn. Remember, as well, while money matters to every team, the M's have more of it to spend than some clubs do. But nothing is ever absolute. Gardner might stink in the majors. What do you think? Would it be worth it to the M's to make a Washburn-Igawa trade if Gardner was a part of it? Let's hear some thoughts.

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Posted by Mike

9:25 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I wouldn't want Igawa otherwise. Even then I'm not so sure. Getting rid of $13M to pick up $12M does not strike me as a great deal. The biggest reason to make a deal is to clear the decks of $10M for next year.

As for the "dumb" comments. There are plenty of examples of the Ms being just that. Jose Guillen's not getting an offer of arbitration last year comes to mind. Guillen had said he would not take arbitration. All we had to do was offer and we'd get a compensatory high draft choice. If we were worried he was lying we could have signed him and traded him. Either way, the Ms passed up an opportunity to get themselves help because they were either scared he'd stay (ooh--terrible hanging onto your third best hitter) or that he was tainted by the HGH thing...though Mike Morse is still here. You see things like this happen enough and you come to expect the worst.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:28 AM, Jul 25, 2008

If Gardner's AAA stats translate, and assuming he doesn't tend to hit into a lot of double plays... if you end up with them as 1-2, doesn't that mean most of the highest RBI / AVG guys on the club (Ibanez, Beltre, Lopez) have to stay? Unless you want to be habitually stranding both Ichiro and Gardner.

And what does geting Gardner do to Reed? Does Reed play left if/when Ibanez moves to another team or another position? Does it doom Reed to being a 4th outfielder? Yet again it seems like the MLB and AAA system in Seattle is clogged with borderline players that need to either get a role or get a ticket out of town.

And Igawa... blech.

Posted by reboskar

9:35 AM, Jul 25, 2008

And what does getting Gardner do to Reed?

Are you kidding Chris? Reed has settled back into hitting .250/.304/.339. Reed is merely the answer to a trivia question as to what we got when we traded Freddy Garcia.

If you can't tell the difference between a guy with a high OBP tendency and the ability to steal a base and Jeremy Reed, then.... (insert snippy comment here.)

Gardner would unquestionably be an unlikely success story. But at least it's a gamble that could result in a productive player.

Posted by meagain

9:50 AM, Jul 25, 2008

"Blech" didn't help me much, so I looked up Igawa's stats. The part that scares me the most is 37 walks in 67 innings last year. Pair that with 76 hits and you have real Blech. He did strike out 53, so he has an out pitch; but Seattle is not the fountain of youth for pitchers, despite the dimensions of the Safe. So, at best he's a throwin.

The Japanese pitcher I wanted, Kuroda, went to the Dodgers and is 5-7 with a 3.98 ERA. So maybe Shiggy didn't screw the M's so badly after all, when he talked Kuroda south.

Gardner, if he gets on base, will take the ballclub in the direction Bavasi and the rest of the front office meant to take it, I think. Pitching, defense, smallball. By neglecting to provide baserunners, they failed to provide a necessary smallball piece.

If Clement can turn out to be an Ibanez level hitter--wherever he winds up playing on defense, or DHing--two future pieces would be in place with a centerfielder who will consistently reach base.

Posted by Ziasudra

9:52 AM, Jul 25, 2008

The problem is that we have 3 or 4 Gardner types in Tacoma already, plus 4 or 5 Igawa's. What we need is a Texeira type hitter, and a Bedard type pitching prospect.
Add a reduction in the catching logjam, and upgrades around the infield.
Gardner doesn't excite me.
Igawa looks like a poorer talent than Washburn at the same price.
Good Grief, Charlie Brown!

Posted by Mike

9:56 AM, Jul 25, 2008

After reading about Gardner it seems REALLY unlikely the Yanks would give him up for Wasburn. I amend what I said earlier. I'd take back Igawa if we got Gardner.

Posted by 9k

9:59 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Washburn-Igawa+Gardner = Yes. Hells yes. This gives the yanks a solid lefty to make a run and allows the M's to start with something other than a Beltre, Ichi, and Felix next year.

Posted by wag the dog

10:01 AM, Jul 25, 2008

As usual, the Mariners are dealing from a position of weakness instead of strength. The rebuilding job is probably not going to get a major boost before the trade deadline and since we don't have a lot to offer, it's hard to see significant improvements being made in the offseason either. Minor tweaks, but which one of our expensive, mediocre, aging players is going to bring some top prospects in return? None of them. And which premiere free agent is going to back the brinks truck up to the Mariner vault for a chance to play for a perennial loser? No one comes to mind.

Better start hoping some of our young guys pan out because I don't see any quick fixes on the horizon.

Getting rid of Washburn would be great, but trading one expensive waste for another doesn't seem beneficial at all. Igawa does nothing to improve out long term viability.

Posted by jp

10:02 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I hope to hell we don't get Igawa back for Wash. Just read up on the guy and you will see how mediocre this guy is. Plus why take on the salary?

Now if we can just hope that the owner of the M's is not being briefed on what we might get in return. Otherwise Igawa will be here no matter what.

Posted by reboskar

10:03 AM, Jul 25, 2008

The problem is that we have 3 or 4 Gardner types in Tacoma already

We do? Who? In AAA this year Gardner has an OBP of .412 with 34 steals. No one in Tacoma brings that to the table.

Posted by Mike

10:07 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Gardner would immediately be our best CF option as long as we are committed to keeping Ichiro in RF.

Posted by Waz

10:23 AM, Jul 25, 2008

you've still got Ryan Feierabend. It's time to move on.

What? he sucks.

Posted by davis

10:23 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Wash has been cy young esque his last 10 starts. WHY TRADE THIS?

Posted by kaseyswagger

10:24 AM, Jul 25, 2008

So far it sounds like we will get either Gardener like Geoff said or Melky Cabrera but it actually sounds like we are trying to get both.

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

10:25 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I would love to get another outfielder from the Yankees. Remember a guy named Jay Buhner? Maybe we could go 2 for 2. It would be awesome to pull something like that on them again.

I still would like to see them get creative and figure out how to get some power. Probably has to wait til off season.

I think Reed should be playing full time. I think he's had trouble with lefties? But it would be nice to see if he can do what he did in AAA.

Have you heard any other rumors?

Posted by Choska

10:26 AM, Jul 25, 2008

The answer to Washburn for Igawa and Gardner is hell yes.

Anything that gives this club financial flexibility as well as organization depth for making future deals is a huge win.

Posted by Nate in Hillsboro

10:27 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I would like to hear from management what the direction of the organization is before I would start trading away one of our few "professional" players (Ibanez is another); players that have the experience and talent to show our younger players how to succeed in the majors.

Without a clear understanding of how the organization is heading, I don't think the proposed trade improves the team the way trading Washburn should.

Posted by Ryan

10:33 AM, Jul 25, 2008

If the Mariner's decided to go in the way of Sabermetrics they'd probably try to acquire Gardner since he can at least get on base via the walk. The team we have now lacks the ability to work the count and make a pitcher work. Interesting to see how things play out, getting rid of Washburn now would be the ideal move since his value is probably is as high as it's going to get.

Posted by rightwingrick

10:34 AM, Jul 25, 2008

As is typical with this management group, the M's will get taken on this deal. Washburn has good value when surrounded by a good team....left handed, on a hot role, World Series and playoff experience. Simply put, there just aren't too many of those guys out there! Yet, we'll panic, not having confidence that in fact he DOES HAVE market value, and instead concentrate only on "let's dump this contract." Another give-away. You know, like Moyer, Guillen, Guillen II, Soriano, Dobbs, (best pinch hitter in the game with solid numbers when we let him go for nothing), Cha Seung Baek, Jorge Campillo, Shin Soo Choo, Asdrubul Cabrera, and the 5 for 1 with Bedard.

Posted by Paul

10:39 AM, Jul 25, 2008

At this point, who the hell cares? In all likelihood, Washburn's last seven starts are a fluke and he'll regress either in mid-to-late August or next season.

Worth the risk? Uh, Washburn's a 30+ year old pitcher and the M's aren't going anywhere for the next three-to-five years. Let's put some money down on the future (Gardner). If it doesn't work out, we'll be in the same place we'd be with Washburn and we'll have saved ourselves some money in the short term.

I feel like those of you holding out hope for guys like Washburn had better hold onto your hats for the offseason fire sale that the next GM is going to have. I'm on board.

The 2013 Seattle Mariners: You Gotta Love These Guys!

Posted by Mike

10:40 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Washburn is what he is, a decent LH #5 starter on a little bit of a hot streak. He has no out pitch. He is a pitch to contact, fly ball guy who is worth a couple million a year. RRS will give you nothing worse than Washburn next year at a fraction of the cost. Don't let a lucky month fool you.

Posted by Mike

10:45 AM, Jul 25, 2008

"Simply put, there just aren't too many of those guys out there! Yet, we'll panic, not having confidence that in fact he DOES HAVE market value, and instead concentrate only on "let's dump this contract."

rick---I know the Ms have had tunnel vision in their attempts to get rid of guys and NOT gotten back anywhere near the value they should have but really, just getting out of Wasburn's contract for next year would be a good thing. If you get something back, it is a big bonus.

Posted by Brennan31

10:48 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Hell yes I'd do it. Igawa needs a change of scenery so we might be doing better than it looks on the surface.
Watched a couple games where Gardner was filling in when Damon was hurt. He's a decent talent and going to be cheap for years.

mlbtraderumors.com is a great site i've found. They read all the other sites and papers then give short hand versions of the rumors.

Posted by Ben

10:55 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Washburn has been Cy Young-esque???? He's been decent, but not cy young material at all.

CC Sabathia - he's been Cy Young-esque in his past four starts with the Brewers. He's dominating.

Rich Harden has even been dominant.

Hell - Felix Hernandez has been more Cy Young-esque than Washburn.

Washburn's value is at it's peak right now - it won't get higher. We need to trade him at the deadline while teams are fighting for a playoff spot and looking to add critical pieces to their runs. In the offseason, his demand goes way down. We don't need him right now.

On a side note: do you (geoff or anyone else) really think Rhodes will net a good return? I can't imagine someone giving up something worthwhile for him, so i don't see why we would trade him. Unless the Marlins offer us a solid 1st base option or something - but, like i said, i don't see why they would.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:04 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I like Michael Saunders 100 times more than I like Brett Gardner who has been a singles hitter his past two seasons at AAA, 9 home runs in 4 minor league seasons. No thanks. Igawa is 28, he's no prospect. He's a bust. I hope the M's make zero moves until the new GM is hired. Pelekoudas is likely being advised by Armstrong.

Posted by Saintevil

11:08 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Why does everyone seem to thing we are rebuilding? I think of it as reloading. This year is blown but that does not mean that next year will be the same. I think if you can get Gardner in a deal for Washburn, you do it. We need the money to get some pop back in this lineup.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:11 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Does it doom Reed to being a 4th outfielder?

No, a (average/on base percentage/slugging).250/.304/.339 in 2008. And his career numbers of .253/.313/.363 in 284 major league games over the past five years; has doomed the bust prospect Jeremy Reed.

Posted by Novice

11:11 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Dont trade for Gardner, thats exactly why we have Bloomquist, excpet he actually provides the lineup with power. He can steal 40 plus bases a year in given 60 starts a year. Plus his defense is gold glove calaber, sometimes I think our FO is made up of a bunch of idiots.

Posted by shane/olympia

11:14 AM, Jul 25, 2008

wash vidro for melky and igawa
raul for prospects
rhodes and kenji for mike jacobs
DFA cairo burke and bautista
bring up wlad tug

c clement johnson
1b jacobs lahair
2b lopez tug
ss uni
3rd beltre
rf ichiro
cf melky reed
lf wlad
anywhere bloomquist

rotation
felix
bedard - trade whenever his stock is highest between now and next years trade deadline
sliva
dickey
rrs/igawa

bullpen
putz
marrow
lowe
green
jimenez
corcoran

this should be the roster next week!

then hire Kim Ng

Posted by Bill

11:19 AM, Jul 25, 2008

If we could get Gardner, Cabrera, and Igawa for Washburn, Vidro, and Johjima I'm all for it.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:21 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I think if you can get Gardner in a deal for Washburn, you do it

Saint-I am open to changing my mind, although admittedly it will take a lot. Why do you believe Brett Gardner should be acquired? Is he a better bat than Michael Saunders, or a Greg Halman.

Halman in my opinion the best defensive center fielder the M's have had since Mike Cameron was not allowed to walk away from Seattle. I've seen his range, it's outstanding. Halman is hitting .283/.321/.512 in his first 30 games at the AA level.

This is a question to everyone" Why on Earth would the M's trade for other team's lesser prospects when we have talent in outfield depth in our own backyard?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:23 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Correction: Mike Cameron was allowed to walk.

Posted by Ryan

11:29 AM, Jul 25, 2008

" Wash has been Cy Young esque in his last 10 starts.

What?? Are you kidding me?? He's been good, bottom line is he's still 4-9. Yes, that's a product of our offense and the horroble month of May he had where he couldn't get anyone out.

Posted by Ryan

11:32 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Shane,


Do you honestly think the Marlins would trade Jacobs for Rhodes and Kenji??.


If we can pull that off, it would be a steal.

Posted by Brennan31

11:37 AM, Jul 25, 2008

NY papers are saying Yanks don't want to send Cabrera or Gardner our way and we don't want Igawa at all so this could all be moot.

I read other day we are scouting AA yanks for prospects.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:38 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Dont trade for Gardner, thats exactly why we have Bloomquist

I agree with Novice. Just read the scouting report from Baseball America on Gardner. He rates a 70 on the speed scale with 80 being the best. He's described as a heavy bunter, slash hitter, struggles against lefties. Above average range. They questioned if he can hit for average in the majors with his bunt and slash style. I doubt it. Previous two the 2008 season he had 2 home runs in 2 years. Novice nailed it, he is Willie Bloomquist.

Posted by meagain

11:40 AM, Jul 25, 2008

I think Novice is pulling our leg.

Posted by Ben

11:44 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Except Novice for some reason thinks Bloomquist is more than a bench player... Willie does not have it in him.

Posted by Librocrat

11:49 AM, Jul 25, 2008

Yes.

Posted by Oly Mike

12:00 PM, Jul 25, 2008

"And he's not really going to help the Mariners win a title next season".
Good statement Geoff!! And also for the past 3-years he hasn't helped the Mariners win anything. either!!! If he goes good riddance. If he stays just pile up more losses.

I don't want another loser in return. No Igawa please!!! The only thing positive with Igawa is maybe he could pitch to Johjima and both would be better. I doubt it. But since we are probably stuck with Johjima because of the Bonehead extension. It would give Johjima something to do besides sit on the Bench. I'd rather have Burke as back-up catcher though because he is cheaper and a better player when put in the game. But nothing on this team is right so I will expect that some of the current losers on this team like Silva, Johjima and Batista will show up next year. Hopefully, Vidro and Washburn are gone by next week..

Posted by Mike

12:03 PM, Jul 25, 2008

"This is a question to everyone" Why on Earth would the M's trade for other team's lesser prospects when we have talent in outfield depth in our own backyard?"

Resin--Because swapping out Washburn for RRS or possibly Morrow and saving $10M makes a lot of sense. What you get for that salary relief really isn't that important but it seems as though Gardner is nearer MLB-ready than Saunders or Halman. Besides, nothing wrong with stockpiling a little talent and goodness knows the Ms would use someone who knows how to get on base. As to who projects higher out of those three, I have no idea honestly but a guy who can play CF and get on base is a good guy to have. And if he goes the route of jeremy Reed 3 years from now, we still escaped Washburn's contract.

But I have a feeling we are getting our hopes up on this deal.

Posted by Bo

12:11 PM, Jul 25, 2008

They got NO chance to get Gardner for a salary dump.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:18 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Resin - Reed's #s don't seem to have doomed him too much. He's still here. Again, he's one of several players at the ML and AAA level that are clogging up the system. If they haven't figured that out and seriously tried to move Reed by now, getting Gardner just adds yet another player in that same class.

Reboskar - I agree with others on here who think Gardner is sounding basically like a high-functioning Bloomquist.

Again, I'm not seeing how getting Gardner is part of a long-term strategy, as opposed to making a trade just to trade and then figuring out what to do with the pieces later.

Posted by jj

12:20 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Of course you don't want Igawa, but we need him to get Gardner. Do it, please. We need the following:

OBA and speed guys
Doubles hitters
Home run hitters

Posted by Mike

12:26 PM, Jul 25, 2008

"Again, I'm not seeing how getting Gardner is part of a long-term strategy, as opposed to making a trade just to trade and then figuring out what to do with the pieces later."

Chris--I agree that the current FO probably does not have a long-term plan but there is nothing wrong with adding talent. More talent gives you depth and the ability to acquire pieces you might need. Especially since Washburn is not part of our plans and his absence can free up $10M.

I look at this way. I'd rather have another OFer and $10M freed up than have Washburn next year. Actually I'd be happy with a ham sandwich and the free $10M.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:00 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Mike - I suppose.

Though, Vidro would just eat the sandwich.

Posted by jeff928

1:13 PM, Jul 25, 2008

The Mariners ought to be aggressive sellers. Washburn, Ibanez, Johjima, Rhodes, Beltre all have some market value. If you can get rid of Vidro in the process, great! Erica Bedard will soon shut himself down for the rest of the year and thus become untradeable.

Posted by scrapiron

1:17 PM, Jul 25, 2008

The Yankees won't give up Gardner unless the M's eat a lot of Washburn's salary. It'll be interesting how serious they are about rebuilding whether they do that.

Also, Lee Pelekoudas is an "old school" GM. He'd value Melky Cabrera higher. Chris Antonetti or Kim Ng would value Gardner higher. So does Lee pull the trigger with the new GM in mind, or do the deal auditioning for the job himself?

Posted by baseballofficial

1:26 PM, Jul 25, 2008

The Mariners need to find an infield prospect to trade for. Even a mid level infield prospect would be better than an outfield or pitcher.

Maybe then we can show Betancourt the door.

Igawa is a terrible idea. No fit whatsoever. The Mariners don't need to trade to dump salary, they need to trade to get better.

Posted by Bobby Hill

1:42 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I understand the financial aspect of involving Kei Igawa in the trade, but let's focus on re-building this team to compete for years to come. Leave Igawa out of the trade and take on one or two low-level prospects in addition to the centerpiece coming from the Yankees (whomever that may be).

Washburn has value right now, so get something of value in return. Igawa has nothing to offer the Mariners. Let's focus on building this team for years to come, not on taking on a washed up pitcher who played well in another country but sucks here in MLB.

Posted by Mike

2:06 PM, Jul 25, 2008

"The Mariners don't need to trade to dump salary, they need to trade to get better. "

Getting rid of the $10M albatross of a salary allows us to get better. Silva, Batista & Johjima will cost $28M next year. Getting rid of $10M from someone who doesn't have a place in the rotation makes tons of sense. If we get someone for him, that's a bonus. Seriously, of all the things the Ms need to do, this is the easiest.

Posted by jake4three

2:19 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Trading away Washburn and getting Igawa back is almost a financial wash. So yes, we would be getting Washburn off the books for next year, but we would still owe three more years to Igawa. Not sure how much financial gain there is for a decent prospect. I would rather throw some money into the trade and get the prospect without Igawa. That way we save some money and get a player as well.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:20 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Resin--Because swapping out Washburn for RRS or possibly Morrow and saving $10M makes a lot of sense. What you get for that salary relief really isn't that important but it seems as though Gardner is nearer MLB-ready than Saunders or Halman.

Maybe I am being misunderstood. Let me clarify, I support trading Washburn. I just don't like Igawa or Gardner under any circumstances. I'd rather land a player that fills a need right away. In reality we have depth at the outfield position with Balentien, Saunders, and Halman who all are either 1-2 years away,

We are fairly thin at first and third base and have an opening at first if LaHair doesn't show anything the next month.

I'd trade Washburn for Juan Miranda. He was the Yankees international signing back in December 2006. Projects as a 20 HR left-handed hitter, hits for average, and actually has good plate discipline. He's 25 and probably ready to start at the majors next year. He's blocked in New York by Giambi, Shelly and Chris Duncan, and others.

Juan Miranda

Posted by Mike

2:49 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Resin---I agree completely that getting someone who can help in an area of need is smarter than stockpiling, all things being equal. What I don't know about Miranda or Gardner is a lot. Miranda's minor league OPS doesn't blow me away for a first baseman but his split vs righties makes him intriguing as a platoon guy.

We'll see what we'll get for Wash. I think Miranda or Gardner would be a big bonus in addition to freeing up $10M.

Posted by Adam The Lord

2:54 PM, Jul 25, 2008

I'm definitely in favor of an Igawa + Gardner for Washburn trade not only because you receive a solid outfield prospect in Gardner but I'm also rather curious about what Igawa has to offer outside New York, maybe we get lucky and he's the second coming of Jose Contreras... who knows...

Posted by Jake

2:54 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Hell, Just getting Gardner for Washburn is enough for me.

Posted by Mike

2:58 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Just getting Gardner (or another prospect) is better than also getting Igawa. He's due $12M over the next 3 years. That ties up $$$ that could be spent better.

Posted by Victor

7:45 PM, Jul 25, 2008

Geoff,

If the Mariners are smart they should be looking at some of the excess pitching that the Yankees STILL have in the minors even after the Pirate Trade.

Guys like Karstens,(some major league experience) And a guy like James Jones (because he doesn't throw hard) can definitely be had. They are capable of being a 4th or 5th starter if not relievers at worst. both of them are pitchers not throwers.

Perhaps a mariner minor league position player or two can make the trade. The Yankees are weak in the minors in position players.

Gardner is definitely better than a Reed (who is really a 4th outfielder) but will need some patience like Adam Jones - that is just the way it is - But the Yanks are still deciding whether to keep him or not - Even at a sub .200 average the kid makes a lot plays and does well in the clutch(see Boston games against Papelbon) - he is not really available at this point.

RE: Igawa - he wants to go back to Japan - but maybe Seattle is closer and he will be happy. He clearly can't handle the pressure in NYC - but maybe with the few fans at the games and one fewer reporters in this town - he could be serviceable. His AAA stats translate into a lot of K's. THe question is "Is he a AAAA player of a major leaguer?

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