Jake Woods, Litmus Test
Jake Woods is 25-years-old, left-handed, makes the league minimum, is a former semi-hyped prospect, and has now thrown 95 innings this season with an ERA of 3.88, which is 15 percent better than the average AL pitcher in 2006.
What the Mariners decide to do with Jake Woods this offseason will be an interesting test of whether their methods for evaluating pitchers have improved at all in the past year. Woods’ combination of age, handedness, salary, and ERA will make him a somewhat valuable player to a decent number of teams this offseason. The Mariners, however, couldn’t need a guy like Jake Woods any less.
He’s a replacement level pitcher in an organization that has so many replacement level pitchers, they don’t have room for them all. If the Mariners are willing to look past the ERA and see him for what he is – a guy with average stuff and bad command whose ERA is a complete fluke – they should admit that the best service he could provide for them going forward is to return a more suitable player for this team in trade.
Jake Woods is a litmus test. An organization that understands pitching would trade him this offseason. We’ll see if the Mariners are up to the challenge.