The Washburn Rumors

Dave · July 25, 2008 at 9:49 am · Filed Under Mariners 

You have probably read by now that the M’s reportedly asked for both Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner from the Yankees for Jarrod Washburn. There’s just no way that’s true – asking for either one is crazy enough, but both? Cashman would hang up on the phone and put call block on any number from 206 if Pelekoudas actually asked for Cabrera and Gardner.

Don’t worry about the no-trade clause – the M’s or Yankees will just pay him to make that go away.

Comments

88 Responses to “The Washburn Rumors”

  1. pygmalion on July 25th, 2008 9:56 am

    Lee: Just ask for their second-best batboy. I hear he has a 0 VORBB and is paid minimum wage.

  2. joser on July 25th, 2008 10:00 am

    We’ve also heard they were asking the moon for Ibanez. Is it possible Lee P has some marching orders along the lines of “You’re just keeping that seat warm, so unless we get a blows-us-away deal we don’t want you trading anything major. Demand too much, and don’t worry if they walk away. Of course, if they say yes, jump on it.”

    Or is it just the usual thing where journalist A says in passing “Hey, what about X and Y for Z?” and journalist B writes “Serious talks involving Q and R for Z are on-going, according to a source close to the Mariners”

  3. Logger on July 25th, 2008 10:04 am

    I imagine if the Yanks took on Washburn’s contract and we received either Gardner or Melky, that would be good, yes?

  4. Spanky on July 25th, 2008 10:04 am

    The word is getting out on Washburn’s mid-season turnaround since Derek’s well written piece earlier this week. And since he single-handedly handcuffed the Sox in his last start, you can understand why the Yankees would be willing to give up Joba Chamberlain for him! He’s a SOX beater!! He needs to do that for the pinstripers!

    Okay…maybe not Joba…but why not Melky?

  5. metz123 on July 25th, 2008 10:05 am

    any chance the Yankees would be interested in a package for cano? Washburn plus lopez?

  6. Griffey IsMySurrogateDad on July 25th, 2008 10:10 am

    If you had to choose, would you say Gardner or Cabrera is a better fit for the M’s?

  7. Sports on a Schtick on July 25th, 2008 10:15 am

    Can the M’s really afford to give up such an awesome dude?

    I imagine Hank Steinbrenner wants a move done. He can’t be happy with his current club being several games out of the playoff picture.

  8. paulkersey on July 25th, 2008 10:18 am

    If you had to choose, would you say Gardner or Cabrera is a better fit for the M’s?

    Better fit for the M’s? Hmmmmmm…. Like actual better fit? Or better fit with our need for a switch-hitting, outfielder from the DR with a twelve-toed father?

    Seriously, though, Melky’s defense is overrated and his bat hasn’t come along like people thought it would. Gardner wins on upside and cost.

  9. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 10:23 am

    Not sure how credible the source is, but good news here:

    “As for Kei Igawa being part of the Jarrod Washburn discussions, one team official said that just was not correct. If the Yanks are going to get salary relief on Washburn’s 2009 salary it is not going to be by getting Igawa taken in the deal. It is going to be by the Mariners eating a portion of that contract.”

    I didn’t think Igawa coming over would be the end of the world, but obviously I like the idea of potentially getting actual talent back a lot better, as long as the Mariners aren’t asked to eat TOO much of Washburn’s 2009 contract.

  10. Colm on July 25th, 2008 10:24 am

    If the Yanks took on Washburns contract and the Mariners received a cup of warm sick, that would be good.

  11. Evan on July 25th, 2008 10:25 am

    I’ve been reading Wash for Melky rumours for weeks. They suggest that the Yankees are ready to “give up on him”.

    It doesn’t make any sense at all, but I certainly hope it’s true. Anyway, if they’re signing Bonds they might want to free up an outfield spot.

  12. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 10:27 am

    Ugh. Thanks for that image, Colm!

  13. Steve T on July 25th, 2008 10:42 am

    I will not settle for less than a FULL PINT of warm sick, dammit!

  14. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 10:43 am

    You guys might get all the sick you want if you keep it up. :(

  15. msb on July 25th, 2008 10:47 am

    our old pals at the Star Ledger weigh in on the rumoring

  16. Steve T on July 25th, 2008 10:49 am

    That’s not part of the deal, Jeff. You have to take Washburn off our hands if you want us to take the, uh, you know.

  17. Mousse on July 25th, 2008 10:53 am

    I am not at all convinced that this rumor is untrue. It is entirely consistent with the fact that this team is unable to properly evaluate talent. This team clearly believes that Washburn is still good and has significant value. Just look at his contract, and the fact that they gave him a personal catcher for at least one game. I would not be surprised if they believe Washburn is “worth” Cabrera and Gardner. I hope that I am very, very wrong.

  18. Mike Snow on July 25th, 2008 10:55 am

    Both? Wow, whoever said that was crazy indeed. I’d eat all of Washburn’s salary, pay him extra to waive the no-trade clause, and swallow Igawa’s contract too if it involved getting the two of them. Even just one should be a no-brainer, whichever one it is.

  19. spamadillo on July 25th, 2008 10:57 am

    “msb said:

    our old pals at the Star Ledger weigh in on the rumoring”

    I love after the Washburn article, about George Sherrill being highly sought out.

    “It seems likely that he’ll be moved, since somebody will probably come up with a blow-away offer. If that happens, that Bedard trade is the gift that keeps on giving.”

  20. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:00 am

    I don’t know that I’d go as far as Mike, but yeah; Igawa/Gardner/Cabrera for say, Washburn/Vidro with us eating a good chunk of salary?

    I’d be all over that. This team has a lot of holes to fill in the offseason, and while Igawa isn’t an answer to any question you should be asking, he’s decent organizational filler, and you should be able to fill at least one outfield spot pretty nicely.

  21. paulkersey on July 25th, 2008 11:04 am

    Igawa wants to go back to Japan. Unless he’s going to take Yamauchi with him, I’d say: “stay away.”

  22. horatiosanzserif on July 25th, 2008 11:07 am

    I’m curious as to why Clement, Johjima or even Rob Johnson haven’t been brought up in these Washburn-to-Yanks discussions. New York needs a catcher, yes? The M’s have three who possess something reminiscent of MLB skills. (We obviously need to retain Burke for his late-inning setup work and grindiness.)

  23. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:08 am

    Why? If he wants to go back to Japan, the Mariners can negotiate an out with him and have the deal end up looking even better.

    I’m curious as to why Clement, Johjima or even Rob Johnson haven’t been brought up in these Washburn-to-Yanks discussions.

    Even the Yankees aren’t going to take on Johjima’s contract, and you’re not going to get anything of value back for either Burke or Rob Johnson.

    Clement isn’t going anywhere.

  24. Mike Snow on July 25th, 2008 11:14 am

    Sure, if we can unload Vidro too, that’s great. I look forward to seeing the Yankees try to make the playoffs on the shoulders of castoffs from the worst team in baseball. But Vidro should be easy to get rid of in any case.

    Really, the usual thing in a swap of contracts is for the team holding the bigger salary to send over the difference, so that both sides can proceed without their budgets being affected. Then it’s just sunk costs, but no I don’t mind actively paying money to get prospects that are close to or already in the majors. It strikes me as being reasonably cost-effective compared to draft picks or international signees who start out much further from their destination.

  25. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:24 am

    With the weird way the Mariners do their accounting, if they paid some of Washburn’s 2009 salary, would they reduce their payroll number for next year by that amount?

    I know they don’t carry over payroll savings to the next year, but do they carry over payroll “debits”?

  26. Jim Thomsen on July 25th, 2008 11:25 am

    It’s interesting that EVERYBODY seems to be setting the market too high … the Rockies with Holliday and Fuentes, the Pirates with Bay and Wilson, the Reds with Dunn, the Blue Jays with Burnett, the M’s with Washburn and Beltre. All, according to the reports I’ve read, seem to be asking for far more than any trade partner is willing to give.

    In a stalemate like this, who blinks first? The buyers or the sellers?

  27. Mike Snow on July 25th, 2008 11:30 am

    With the weird way the Mariners do their accounting, if they paid some of Washburn’s 2009 salary, would they reduce their payroll number for next year by that amount?

    I think deals like that usually involve the actual transfer of money happening in 2009, kind of like contracts with deferred payments. So it might affect their payroll calculations, but I don’t know for sure.

  28. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:31 am

    In a stalemate like this, who blinks first? The buyers or the sellers?

    I have to think that it’ll be the buyers; a lot of the sellers aren’t really selling because they NEED to, but more because they sense a sellers’ market.

    The buyers, on the other hand, are all in close playoff races and they need to add talent to get them over the hump.

    Obviously they’re all looking to move players for a reason; but even with the Mariners, if they end up keeping Washburn, it’s not the end of the world.

  29. WardP on July 25th, 2008 11:47 am

    If the point of trading Washburn is to free up contract space, what would the point be of taking Igawa? Nobody gets “relief” in that case; it’s a trade of sucky pitchers with big contracts.

    If the Ms get Cabrera and Gardner for Washburn, they should by a sh*tload of lottery tickets on the way out of town..

  30. Adam S on July 25th, 2008 11:48 am

    I don’t know much about Gardner but looking at his PECOTA and his minor league track record he doesn’t look like much of anything beyond a 4th OF — a .250 EQA. Seems to be a fast CF who can’t hit. He tops out at 2 wins. What am I missing?

    Cabrera is no stud, but he could be the CF, or a great defensive LF for the next few years. Sort of a Randy Winn type.

  31. jro on July 25th, 2008 11:50 am

    M’s reportedly asked for both Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner from the Yankees for Jarrod Washburn. There’s just no way that’s true – asking for either one is crazy enough, but both?

    I’m not so sure that’s an out-of-the-world request, given that we’re talking about the Yankees here. Gardner looks like a typical AAAA player and Cabrera’s greatest strength is his youth.

  32. nickwest1976 on July 25th, 2008 11:53 am

    Anyone know what Melky’s WAR is?

  33. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:57 am

    Igawa’s contract is spread out over three years; Washburn’s money is all tied up in 2009.

    So you still end up freeing up some money for 2009 if you trade the two, not counting any talent that might change hands as well.

    It’s not the optimal situation, no; but the Yankees need to get something out of the trade, particularly if you’re asking for actual talent in return for Washburn.

  34. PositivePaul on July 25th, 2008 12:09 pm

    Igawa’s contract is spread out over three years; Washburn’s money is all tied up in 2009.

    So you still end up freeing up some money for 2009 if you trade the two, not counting any talent that might change hands as well.

    Well, and as paulkersey’s discussed above — there’s the concept that it’s entirely possible for Igawa to “retire” a la Kaz Sasaki and return to Japan, pulling his salary back off the books.

    Igawa may not be much, but he might be able to succeed in Safeco a little better than in Yankee Stadium. The contract length is a bit of a challenge, but it does free up some money for next year, and again leaves the possibility of the Sasaki situation open in the longer-term…

  35. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 12:12 pm

    Well, and as someone’s discussed above — there’s the concept that it’s entirely possible for Igawa to “retire” a la Kaz Sasaki and return to Japan, pulling his salary back off the books.

    Yep, and if he ends up wanting to do that, it’s going to be much easier for him to do if he’s a part of the Mariners organization, with a Japanese owner and precedent for that sort of situation, than with the Yankees.

  36. JMHawkins on July 25th, 2008 12:15 pm

    Don’t worry about the no-trade clause – the M’s or Yankees will just pay him to make that go away.

    I was going to ask “Are you sure he’d waive it? He must’ve had a reason to put it in there in the first place.” And then I realized.

    Yes, of course, the reason he has a no-trade clause for the Yankees is precisely because they would pay to make it go away. The Yankees would never let a handfull of Woodrow Wilsons get in the way of acquiring a player they’d decided they needed.

    Hmmm. Are most no-trade clauses put in for just that reason?

  37. Madison Mariner on July 25th, 2008 12:18 pm

    …and you’re not going to get anything of value back for either Burke or Rob Johnson.

    Alone, maybe not, but it was originally asked as to why these names weren’t being brought up in prospective trade talks regarding Washburn and the Yankees.

    In which case, I dispute your notion that neither would net the M’s anything of value–perhaps the return from the Yankees would be augmented by adding one of those 2. I still say Johnson has a good career as an MLB backup catcher with his defensive skill set.

    As to Johjima’s contract being a prohibitive barrier to any team taking him on, well–I agree, but with news on Posada possibly becoming the team’s future first baseman/DH, maybe the possibility isn’t so remote anymore?

  38. Sports on a Schtick on July 25th, 2008 12:22 pm

    Would Japanese ownership ever allow Johjima to get traded?

    Regarding what the team could get for Washburn:
    Gardner: Yeh!
    Cabrera: Meh.
    Igawa: Bleh!

  39. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 12:22 pm

    One of them might end up being a throw-in in a deal, sure; but if you toss one of them in, you might get a B-level prospect instead of a C-level prospect, and I’m not sure that’s worth giving up catching depth in the organization for.

    The Yankees of five years ago might have taken on Johjima’s contract; I don’t think today’s Yankees will do it. But hey, I’d love it if they did.

  40. The Ancient Mariner on July 25th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Why should we eat Igawa’s contract? I say make Silva do it!

  41. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 12:26 pm

    I think we’ve pretty much eliminated any possibility of Carlos Silva coming to future USSM events.

  42. Frustrated in Omak on July 25th, 2008 12:34 pm

    I never was a Washburn fan.Get rid of him. But don’t give him away. Get something for him, do they even know how to find talent? The Mariners have all that money to spend and always settle for mediocre players. The exception was Adrian Beltre, but he didn’t do as well as they thought he would in his first 2 seasons. However, you can’t beat him for defense. He’s the best 3rd baseman in baseball and worth keeping. We need to give up on the likes of Vidro, Johjima, Batista and any other player who’s not performing, and bring up some young guys. They couldn’t do any worse. The Mariners are embarassing. I don’t even watch them most of the time and I WAS a huge fan. One season of disappointment, ok but this is getting old. I watched the other day, tied in the 11th with runners at the corners against Boston. All Johjima had to do was get a base knock, and he hits into a double play. I was so frustrated, I might not watch them for the rest of the season. Why did they give this guy a contract extension? Bring up the young guys, like the A’s do…. They are consistently better than we are, they have to be doing something right. If they aren’t performing, trade them. Or release them.

  43. Logger on July 25th, 2008 12:41 pm

    41

    Yep…but it’s not our fault he sucks.

  44. Benne on July 25th, 2008 12:43 pm

    Why should we eat Igawa’s contract? I say make Silva do it!

    The mental image of Silva devouring a contract like a delicious donut makes me giggle.

    Back to the topic at hand–I’d be ecstatic if we got both Gardner and Melky. Igawa is meh.

  45. joser on July 25th, 2008 12:49 pm

    Regarding catchers to the Yankees: that same Star Ledger article that msb linked above says

    There was some talk at Thursday’s meeting of Yankees executives in Tampa, Fla., about pursuing a catcher, and there are some concerns about Jose Molina’s durability. But the sense in the organization is that the Molina/Chad Moeller combo can get them through the season and the only way they’ll pursue catching help is if they find a clear upgrade

    The only one of Johjima/Clement/Johnson that’s a “clear upgrade” is Clement, and at this point it’s mostly potential, though I’m sure the Yankees would be interested if the M’s said he’s available. But they won’t.

    I think we’ve pretty much eliminated any possibility of Carlos Silva coming to future USSM events.

    You’re saying there was a point in time when that was a possibility? Based on the quantity of munchies at the back of the room in the last one, I don’t think he would’ve been a very happy Carlos Silva.

    Are most no-trade clauses put in for just that reason?

    Most limited no-trade clauses (from my limited, anecdotal memory) seem to block bad teams, or places the player doesn’t want to play (Coors field for pitchers, say, or Petco for hitters). Putting the nix on just the high-payroll teams specifically as a ploy to get paid to waive the clause seems far to shrewd and devious for most ballplayers… and for the killer chipmunk in particular. Who is his agent? Oh, wait, it’s Boras isn’t it. Yeah, I’d believe it.

  46. smb on July 25th, 2008 12:54 pm

    I have some fair, non-food related questions for Silva, though…

    1. Are you afraid of a potential trade of Bus to the Yanks, which would rob you of your team flight snuggle buddy?

    2. Remember that pre-game interview you gave after you started the year grossly and improbably flouting the mean? How is that consistency you claimed you were looking for panning out?

  47. smb on July 25th, 2008 12:59 pm

    I think Griffey’s NTC to the Yanks was (supposedly) because they wouldn’t let him in the clubhouse as a kid when Sr. played there. That’s the only anomaly I’ve seen.

  48. Karen on July 25th, 2008 1:01 pm

    Always seem to be late to the party, but…

    RE: Dave’s comment

    “Don’t worry about the no-trade clause – the M’s or Yankees will just pay him to make that go away”

    I have read that the Yankees would just make a take-it-or-leave-it offer to BOTH the Mariners and to Washburn. The rumor is that they don’t want to pay him to remove them from his no-trade clause, and that “they have other options”.

    Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard that before from The Tampa Brain Trust. Let’s keep Washburn and watch them flounder around finding those “other options”. That’s more fun than getting rid of Washburn, anyway.

    I’d also tell the Yanks no deal as far as the M’s still paying Washburn ANYTHING if a trade for him with the Yankees still goes through. I’d rather have him finish out his contract as a Mariner than give ANYTHING away to the Yankees.

    ——————

    And I’d like to see some OTHER team take Melky Cabrera off the Yankee’s hands. If he ended up in the M’s outfield, it’d be just another frustration for poor Ichiro.

  49. longbeachglenn on July 25th, 2008 1:18 pm

    [come on]

  50. pygmalion on July 25th, 2008 1:22 pm

    You have four minutes before a mod murders that.

  51. Karen on July 25th, 2008 1:28 pm

    “The Yanks’ new part-time first baseman made two big defensive plays behind Mike Mussina and hit a sacrifice fly that accounted for the Yanks’ final run.”

    Wooo-woo. A meaningless final run, since the score was already 4-1. In any other situation it’d be just another pop-fly out.

    I get the sense reading the rest of that article that either Big Sexy wasn’t leaving it all out on the field for the Mariners, or Wilson Betemit and The Big G are even more atrocious as first basemen.

  52. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 1:42 pm

    So, did we make the four minute deadline?

    I didn’t see the comment!

  53. pygmalion on July 25th, 2008 2:02 pm

    Actually it took nine minutes. But I was thinking of how long he had left to edit his comment.

    In retrospect he had even less time available. My clock is a bit slower than the site’s.

  54. joser on July 25th, 2008 2:13 pm

    Wooo-woo. A meaningless final run, since the score was already 4-1.

    I know an Oakland A’s fan* who, last year, kept pointing out how often Sexson only got a hit after the game was decided one way or the other. It was kind of spooky, though I never went back and looked at the game logs to see if there was any statistical validity to it.

    * Not by choice. I mean, he’s an A’s fan by choice, but I didn’t choose to know him. He’s just frequently at the same bar.

  55. skitrex on July 25th, 2008 2:31 pm

    [ot]

  56. tylerv on July 25th, 2008 2:31 pm

    [ot]

  57. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 2:32 pm

    Okay, guys. Let’s try to keep at least in the general ballpark of talking about Washburn.

  58. TumwaterMike on July 25th, 2008 2:36 pm

    My concern is that if you have a reasonable offer for Washburn and don’t take it, trying to squeeze more out of the deal, then the Yank mees go elsewhere and you don’t get any deal done. I hope Lee P. has the sense to know this. Not that I’m a Bavasi guy but I think Bill would know this. I am intrigued by the fact that the Pirates are offering Jason Bay to anyone. I know their price is high but maybe with the right combo of AAA, AA, and A players you can swing that deal. He would look pretty good in Left Field, batting 3rd. This would move Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul to DH if he’s not traded. You instantly plug 2 holes. Bay bating 3rd, Ibanez 4th and Beltre 5th. Now the middle of your order has some pop. And Vidro………….

  59. nickwest1976 on July 25th, 2008 2:54 pm

    TumwaterMike said:

    My concern is that if you have a reasonable offer for Washburn and don’t take it, trying to squeeze more out of the deal, then the Yank mees go elsewhere and you don’t get any deal done. I hope Lee P. has the sense to know this. Not that I’m a Bavasi guy but I think Bill would know this. I am intrigued by the fact that the Pirates are offering Jason Bay to anyone. I know their price is high but maybe with the right combo of AAA, AA, and A players you can swing that deal. He would look pretty good in Left Field, batting 3rd. This would move Rauuuuuuuuuuuuuul to DH if he’s not traded. You instantly plug 2 holes. Bay bating 3rd, Ibanez 4th and Beltre 5th. Now the middle of your order has some pop. And Vidro………….

    I agree with you, if the M’s have a deal on the table to move all of Washburn’s salary you do it. According to Jason Stark, the M’s aren’t interested in that though which I can’t for the life of me understand.

    http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=3505280&name=mlb_trade_deadline

    Bay is definitely intriguing. I would prefer a power lefty bat in Safeco but he is a good player.

  60. LewLegend on July 25th, 2008 2:57 pm

    I understand that everyone wants to dump Washburn. The problem is we don’t have an Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes sitting at Triple A waiting to start. I think Rowland-Smith is about as replacement level as you can get. You get out from under the remaining contract for this year and next year. That is why you trade him and hopefully you can get a Sheets or Sabathia (dreaming here) in the offseason. It gives you a little more flexibility trying to rebuild this team in the offseason. The Mariners front office is crazy not to trade him if the Yanks are offering Melky or Gardner for Washburn plus picking up his tab for 09.

    #57: Why would the worst team in baseball trade minor league talent to get Jason Bay when they are the worst team in baseball? I’m sure the Pirates would ask for Aumont, Truinfel, and probably another guy for him. We are sellers, not buyers.

  61. Mat on July 25th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Melky Cabrera may be no great shakes defensively in center, but he’s hit better against RHP than LHP, so he would complement Balentien fairly well and provide the M’s another 4th OF choice if they decide they don’t really want to stick with Reed. Worst-case scenario, you find a better OF option in the offseason and find Melky a different home. If another team is going to assume all of Washburn’s contract for 2009, I have trouble believing that the Mariners could get back more value than Melky Cabrera.

  62. wlad on July 25th, 2008 2:58 pm

    Forget Gardner! If we can get Melky Cabrera for Jerrod Washburn it would be the best Mariners trade of the new century. Don’t scoff. Cabrera is Adam Jones at the plate but walks more and strikes out less. In my opinion, his struggles this year can be attributed inconstant playing time in the Yankees outfield. If you don’t agree with that you will agree Cabrera is at least an upgrade over Reed/Bloomquist.

  63. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 3:01 pm

    That is why you trade him and hopefully you can get a Sheets or Sabathia (dreaming here)

    Our pitching isn’t great, but it’s not where we need the most help.

    We need hitters and better defenders, desperately.

  64. Mr. Egaas on July 25th, 2008 3:08 pm

    If we trade Washburn for Melky straight up talent swap and don’t get hosed on the money, I’ll be dancing in the streets.

    Here is a trade with some actual upside, for once.

  65. jephdood on July 25th, 2008 3:09 pm

    Cripes, get it done already. The longer this lingers, the more time the Yankees have to realize they’re actually considering trading for Jarrod Washburn.

    Get that money off the books so we can go get some real players!

  66. TumwaterMike on July 25th, 2008 3:11 pm

    #59-I would offer Balentein and maybe Mark Lowe and maybe Rob Johnnson (we are rich in good catchers). I understand we are sellers but lets also think about what lies ahead. If we can get a player of Bay’s ability, why not. If we get Bay we wouldn’t need Balentein and we still have a Balentein clone in the minors in Michael Wilson. We need to start thinking outside the box a little. Also Bay is a Candaian who went to Gonzaga so has some conections here. We might get a home town discount to sign him for the long term.

  67. JMHawkins on July 25th, 2008 3:16 pm

    I agree with you, if the M’s have a deal on the table to move all of Washburn’s salary you do it. According to Jason Stark, the M’s aren’t interested in that though which I can’t for the life of me understand.

    Well, a couple of days ago in the “You have to move Washburn” thread, I speculated that there are two possible explanations for the contracts the M’s have given Washburn, Batista and Silva (multi-year high-seven to eight figures). Either they think those guys are top of the rotation talent, or they think proven innings-eaters are really, really valuable. If it’s the former, they’ll trade Washburn because he’s not what they thought they were getting. If it’s the latter, they’ll hang onto him because they got exactly what they wanted and think it’s a good deal.

    understand that everyone wants to dump Washburn. The problem is we don’t have an Ian Kennedy or Phil Hughes sitting at Triple A waiting to start. I think Rowland-Smith is about as replacement level as you can get. You get out from under the remaining contract for this year and next year. That is why you trade him and hopefully you can get a Sheets or Sabathia (dreaming here) in the offseason.

    RRS and Washburn are both probably 1 win above replacement as starters. Washburn is maybe less risky than RRS (though RRS has more upside), but there’s not enough difference between them to justify the salary difference. If you can move Washburn and his salary, do it. It’s not like he’s above average. He’s just an innings eater. Those shouldn’t cost 10 million a year.

  68. LewLegend on July 25th, 2008 3:20 pm

    #62: If you can get 36 mill to work with in the offseason, you might be able to sign a couple of defenders (Mark Ellis, Rafael Furcal) and still have enough money to sign Sheets. My guess is Ellis is going to go for about 8 mill and Furcal around 10. That still gives you 18 mill to sign Sheets at about 12-15 mill per and pay arbitration raises for Bedard, etc. This, of course, would start with trading Washburn for anybody. I really like the idea of Melky in LF in 09.

    #65: Do you really think the Pirates are going to trade one of the best outfielders in baseball for Balentien, Lowe, and Johnson? They already have Doumit at C who is a stud. They are going to (and should) ask for the moon for Jason Bay.

  69. praetore on July 25th, 2008 3:32 pm

    Seattle has insisted that the AL East team also take designated hitter Jose Vidro in any proposed deal.

    AHHHHH! PLEASE TAKE HIM

  70. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 3:33 pm

    Sheets would be a nice upgrade; I’m just leery of free agent pitching in general, and I think that pitching should be a distant third in priority this offseason after offense and defense.

    And I think Sheets and Sabathia are going to be very, very expensive.

    AHHHHH! PLEASE TAKE HIM

    As much as I’d like to see Turbo never pick up a bat for the Mariners again…I don’t really see the point in moving him.

    He’s not good enough to affect the talent you’ll get back in trade, and unless the Mariners somehow manage to hilariously get him enough at-bats for his option to vest, he won’t be back next year.

  71. nickwest1976 on July 25th, 2008 3:56 pm

    I agree Jeff, Vidro should not be a concern right now as he is a sunk cost for this year and off the books at the end of the year. Not sure why the M’s are so caught up in trying to move him. They should me MUCH more concerned with moving Washburn and not worrying at all about Vidro.

  72. smb on July 25th, 2008 4:16 pm

    Jeff, do you think maybe Vidro is bad enough to affect the talent we’d get back in a trade? If I took on that lineup albatross in a trade I’d demand reparations.

  73. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 4:22 pm

    It might be cause for a war crimes tribunal, I agree.

    In seriousness though, Vidro does suck; but a large part of his current suck is tied up in the fact that he’s being written on the lineup card at DH every day when he can’t H, and that he keeps being asked to bat cleanup when he might have a hard time cleaning bats.

  74. cdowley on July 25th, 2008 4:56 pm

    I’ve done some checking around with my sources, and the news is interesting. Three of the four I’ve heard back from say that Cashman is considering Wash plus a catcher for Melky and Gardener. The catcher would be one of Johjima, Burke, or Johnson. If it’s Joh, we’d HAVE to take Igawa back to offset salary. The other says it’d be Wash plus another player, likely Vidro or, strangely, Raul, for the three aforementioned Yanks.

    Interesting scenarios, to be sure. However, none of the people I talked to gave either scenario better than a 60/40 chance of actually happening. The report of Xavier Nady going to the Yanks would make scenario #2 much less likely.

  75. terry on July 25th, 2008 6:05 pm

    In a stalemate like this, who blinks first? The buyers or the sellers?

    The “new age” FO in Pittsburgh?

  76. Karen on July 25th, 2008 6:24 pm

    Bwaaaahaaaahaaaa!

    I guess everybody’s heard by now that the Yankees DID have other options! That’s how bad they didn’t want Vidro, I guess… :)

    Yes, they traded with the hapless and equally poorly run Pittsburgh Pirates (comparing them to the Mariners, not the Yankees), trading a BUNCH of overhyped minor leaguers, an OK-in-S/WB-but-not-in-the-Bronx pitcher, and/or never-heard-of-’em “prospects” for Xavier Nady (OF help that can both hit and throw, so that Damon can DH) and Damaso Marte, who makes the Yankee bullpen even more formidable (no starting pitchers in this deal, though, and that’s good from an anti-Yankee standpoint).

  77. Mr. Egaas on July 25th, 2008 6:52 pm

    I can assume that the Pittsburg deal doesn’t mean much for Washburn going to New York — none of the mentionables moved to Pittsburg in the deal and they didn’t pick up anything that Washburn would scratch off their wishlist.

  78. BringUpBalentien on July 25th, 2008 8:29 pm

    “they didn’t pick up anything that Washburn would scratch off their wishlist.” What would Wash make the Yankees check off? LHP w/declining velocity and no out pitch? Also, as a lifelong Wisconsonian, Sheets would be a great pickup if-can we say it together-he can stay healthy.

  79. galaxieboi on July 25th, 2008 10:01 pm

    Check out this little tidbit from rotoworld, via the Times.

    Sounds like the M’s might be contemplating sending Morrow down to Tacoma to work on starting. Well, as long as JJ can fill the vitally important closer role for a team on the way to 90+ losses.

  80. msb on July 25th, 2008 11:12 pm

    a little cold water from Stark, earlier in the day:

    “Another Yankees update: Despite all sorts of reports about the likes of Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner being included in a deal for Jarrod Washburn, indications are that the Yankees view acquiring Washburn strictly as a goodwill mission to take Washburn’s money (over $14 million) off the Mariners’ books. So the Yankees aren’t willing to offer low-level prospects unless Seattle A) agrees to eat some of the money and/or B) is willing to take Kei Igawa. So far, there’s no sign that the Mariners are interested in either option. The Yankees also have deflected all Scott Boras efforts to extract an extension or relocation bonus if Washburn waves his no-trade clause to the Bronx.”

  81. msb on July 25th, 2008 11:16 pm

    and from the S-L:

    “They continue to haggle with the Mariners over Jarrod Washburn. The Yankees don’t think they should have to give up top talent if they’re assuming all of Washburn’s contract. And while a person who spoke with Washburn recently said Washburn would be willing to waive his no-trade clause for a deal to the Yankees, agent Scott Boras is likely to seek some sort of compensation in return for such a waiver. The Yankees would, obviously, resist that.

  82. cdowley on July 25th, 2008 11:35 pm

    The Yankees also have deflected all Scott Boras efforts to extract an extension or relocation bonus if Washburn waves his no-trade clause to the Bronx

    Strange, the one thing my sources were unanimous about was that the no-trade clause was “taken care of”. I wonder if this means the M’s would be paying him off then?

  83. Jeff Nye on July 25th, 2008 11:41 pm

    I would be very surprised if the no-trade clause ends up being problematic.

    Someone will just pay him to waive it. Who it is doesn’t really matter that much.

  84. James T on July 26th, 2008 5:18 am

    Forget Gardner! If we can get Melky Cabrera for Jerrod Washburn it would be the best Mariners trade of the new century. Don’t scoff. Cabrera is Adam Jones at the plate but walks more and strikes out less. In my opinion, his struggles this year can be attributed inconstant playing time in the Yankees outfield. If you don’t agree with that you will agree Cabrera is at least an upgrade over Reed/Bloomquist.

    It seems it may be a moot point anyway but I strongly disagree with your assessment of Melky Cabrera. First of all, he’s a good outfielder who acts like a Jim Edmonds type drama queen setting up unnecessary dives for catches, diving *after* he caught the ball and bumping into walls in oddly conspicuous ways that didn’t seem to be required to catch the ball.

    But comparing him to Adam Jones is silly. Melky’s offense seems to be coelescing into a good for one month a year sort of thing. Here’s his OPS month by month the last two years:

    –2007-2008
    A .451-.864
    M .762-.589
    J .811-.544
    J .938-.632
    A .818
    S .456

    As for the argument that it’s inconsistent playing time that caused him to be lousy, well, in 2007, he had 75, 59, 94, 106, 111 and 100 at bats, more time as he produced and then still a lot of time as he was terrible in september. In 2008 he’s had 87, 94, 102 and (so far in July) 64 at bats. Since May 2007 he’s been on a 550 or so at bat per season pace. He’s just not good.

  85. msb on July 26th, 2008 9:54 am

    ahhhhh, Rumor Season.

    so the Mets are said to be looking at Bay, Blake & Ibanez (‘tho their respective teams are asking ‘exorbitant’ prices) as Church likely won’t be back ’til after the trade deadline … and Rosenthal says the Dodgers might steal Blake out of the pot, and other’s say that Bay might not move after all, with the Bucs/Yankees trade …

  86. galaxieboi on July 26th, 2008 9:55 am

    In ’07 he had 2 bad months, 3 pretty decent ones and 1 great one. That’s not that bad. This year has been a little off for him, true. He’s got a little more homerun power (5.8%/7.2% HR/F), but a higher K rate (12.5%/14%). He’s walking about the same. His BABIP the last three years: .310, .301 and .269. His LD% for those years, respectively: 17.2%, 19.7% and 18.4%.

    His BABIP stands out as quite low for his LD%, especially when looking at the previous 2 years. Melky won’t turn 24 until August 11th either.

    As far as his fielding, I can only get at RZR right now. He ranked 1st in the AL @ LF in ’06, 2nd in the AL in CF last year and is tied for 5th this year with Granderson in CF.

    Yankees fans always make him out to be the second coming of the Mick (but, when do they not?), but if the M’s can aquire him I think he’d be a fairly serviceable option in CF next year and for several seasons.

  87. scott19 on July 26th, 2008 3:20 pm

    Yankees fans always make him out to be the second coming of the Mick (but, when do they not?), but if the M’s can aquire him I think he’d be a fairly serviceable option in CF next year and for several seasons.

    To this day, I still laugh about how the Yanks gave up on Jay Buhner thought Ken Phelps would help them win the AL East back in 1988.

    /snark :)

  88. wabbles on July 28th, 2008 12:22 pm

    “WHAT?! You traded BOTH Melky Cabrera AND Brett Gardner for Jerrod Washburn?”
    “My baseball people kept telling me, ‘Jarrod Washburn, Jarrod Washburn.’”
    Let’s hope history repeats itself.

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