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Trading Jarrod Washburn

April 24, 2008

As Matthew Carruth identified in his pre-season post (will add Link once Lookout Landing’s server recovers) on our pitchers, Jarrod Washburn is the biggest collapse candidate in the rotation.  To this point Jarrod has pitched fairly well, running a 4.35 xFIP which backs up his solid results.  Washburn may be pitching better than he ever has as a Mariner, but this is where the Mariners organization needs to think outside the “He’s performing well, we’ll use that performance for us!” box they always think in and instead think along the lines of “Hey, x team has an injured/underperforming member of their rotation, so offloading the overperforming Washburn to them will grant us some salary relief!”

The biggest problem here, however, is that if we as fans know that Washburn is overperforming then other MLB franchises will know as well.  Regardless, a player who is performing well will almost always net more in trade than a player performing poorly.  The Mariners need to change their ideology on when to trade players, and while they won’t, let’s pretend they have and look to indentify potential suitors for a Jarrod Washburn trade.

The Brewers seem like a good fit.  There are injury concerns for them with young stud Yovanni Gallardo, Chris Capuano, and Ben Sheets.  Also, aside from being an injury risk David Bush ran a tRA of 4.97 last season showing that even when healthy he is not an asset in the rotation.  A move to the NL should help Washburn and provide stability for an injury-prone staff like Milwaukee.  They could flip one of Guillermo Mota, David Riske, or Derrick Turnbow our way.  We don’t have to use them and they could become quick DFA candidates should they perform poorly.  Basically this gets us out from some of the money we owe Washburn and we only have to deal with one of the traded relievers for 2008 freeing up payroll space for next year.

Detroit is another interesting possibility.  With Kenny Rogers starting the year so terribly it’s not a reach to think the 43-year old may lose his roster spot soon.  Their current rotation of Verlander-Bonderman-Rogers-Robertson-Gallaraga could definitely use improvement, so flipping Washburn for someone like Bobby Seay could work.  With Detroit desperate to win now and their pitching holding them back it seems like it would be a good fit for them to add a mediocre back end starter to their rotation if nothing else but for stability.

Philadelphia would likely welcome Washburn with open arms as well.  I mean come on.  This rotation has Kyle Kendrick, Jamie Moyer, and Adam Eaton.  They need all the help they can get as they play in the same division as the Johan Santana led Mets.  Jarrod Washburn isn’t good but once again moving to the NL would be a plus, and the difference between Philly and New York is maybe two or three wins, so Washburn could close the gap/widen it a little (depending on who you think holds the advantage)  Plus with Gillick’s love of ex-Mariners, this seems like a no-brainer.  Make a Washburn for Ryan Madson swap or something similar and call it good.  Just as long as you get out of some or most of Washburn’s contract.

Ok, so assume Washburn’s been traded one of those places.  I think we can be just as competitive with Rowland-Smith, Cha Seung Baek, or R.A. Dickey making Washburn’s starts, plus we’d be saving a lot of money.  Getting out of Washburn’s contract is absolutely essential for the signing of premier talent in the 2008-2009 offseason–not to mention getting Washburn out of our rotation now may actually upgrade the current roster.

This team needs to make a bold move by trading one of it’s beloved veterans.  This team needs to trade Jarrod Washburn.

–Brett

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One comment

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