Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
August 15, 2008 5:12 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
Just got off the phone with Lee Pelekoudas, who is not in Minnesota. I reached him in Jackson, Tenn., where he is visiting the Mariners' Class AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx minor-league affiliate.
Pelekoudas will flat out not discuss trade rumors or waiver dealings. He wouldn't talk any specifics of the Washburn situation, or even confirm that Washburn was placed on waivers. So it was impossible to get some of the answers I want to get, and I know you do, too.
But he did want to get the point across, again, that the Mariners are not looking for salary dumps, but, rather, talent. That would be their explanation for the hard line they are reputed to be taking in trade negotiations. Obviously, there is a significant portion of fans who believe that the Mariners would be well-served just to get Washburn's $10 million off the books for next year, regardless of the return. The Mariners clearly disagree, because they just had a golden opportunity to do just that.
Pelekoudas also hinted that there could be a larger trade down the road, one in which the Mariners might even take on salary to get a better player .
One last thing: I clarified the rule regarding putting a player back on waivers after he has been pulled back. That can't be done for 30 days, it turns out. So in the case of Washburn and Raul Ibanez, the 30 days would put them beyond the Aug. 31 deadline for postseason eligibility. That makes it extremely unlikely either of them will be dealt prior to the offseason.
At any rate, here's what Pelekoudas said:
"In general, on the issue of dumping salaries, our goal here is to get better. Even back to the trade deadline, and moving forward, we want to get players back that will make us better now and in the future. Money can give you flexibility, but there's no guarantee you can turn that flexibility into anything.
"I've said all along, with players under our control that people are assuming we want to move, we'd like to get value back for them. We want to get the best deal we can get for them, now or later. Other deals may come along and develop into something larger, and even involve us eating some money to get players that make us better.''
So there you have it, straight from the GM's mouth. Now I'm going to get back to watching Francisco Liriano mow down the Mariners. I'd say he has a pretty good sinker working -- nine ground balls outs out of the first 11 outs.