Here’s the bet
In considering whether the M’s should have dumped Washburn for nothing, the issue of whether the team could better use the money comes up again and again.
This off-season, at least one free agent pitcher who has superior numbers to Washburn will sign a one-year deal for under Washburn’s 2010 salary of $10m. And here, I mean numbers indicative of a pitcher’s ability:
* Strikeout rate
* Walk rate
* Line drive rate (and HR rate)
* Ground ball/fly ball split
I predict this year we’ll see at least one pitcher who is clearly superior enough to Washburn to make arguing moot, but here’s our specific criteria: at least 180 IP in 2008, K rate equal or better than Washburn’s, walk rate equal or better than Washburn, LD/HR rate equal or better than Washburn’s. They will sign a deal for one year for less than $10m. Bonus points for 2y under $10m.
I’ll make an additional secondary prediction: there will be at least one free agent hitter who signs a one-year deal for under $10m who would provide a +20 run overall upgrade at a Mariner position from this year, with offense measured by any reasonable advanced metric and defense by UZR, PMR, +/-, or any like decent defensive stat.