The Washburn To Milwaukee Stuff

Dave · July 26, 2009 at 8:45 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As you’ve probably read by now, both Geoff Baker and his Milwaukee counterpart Tom Haudricourt are speculating that the M’s and Brewers could make a deal for Jarrod Washburn as early as tomorrow. His next scheduled start is on Tuesday, and the Brewers don’t currently have a starting pitcher for that day – add in the fact that Brewers GM Doug Melvin has publicly talked about his desire to add an arm despite his unwillingness to give up his top two young players (SS Alcides Escobar and 3B Mat Gamel), which would take him out of the running for Roy Halladay or Cliff Lee, along with Washburn being from Wisconsin, and you have the recipe for a deal that makes a lot of sense. Plus, there’s that whole Zduriencik-Milwaukee tie which should making trading with the Brewers fairly easy.

Washburn helps Milwaukee a lot more than he helps the M’s. If they’re not going to give up Escobar or Gamel in a bid for one of the Cy Young arms, this is their best fallback plan. And, as we talked about recently, they have depth at SS – the big glaring weakness in the M’s organization. It all fits.

However, don’t count on Hardy coming back for Washburn in a one for one deal (that would just be a horrible move for the Brewers), and don’t expect Alcides Escobar to be coming to Seattle at all. If the Brewers were willing to move Escobar, they’d go get Halladay or Lee, because he’s good enough to headline a package for one of those two. The only reason the Brewers would settle for Washburn is because they were dead set on retaining Escobar. If he’s actually available (and Melvin insists that he’s not), they’ve got bigger fish to fry.

There is likely a deal to be made involving Washburn and stuff for Hardy and stuff, which is what I’d bet on right now. But Escobar? Don’t hold your breath.

By the way, don’t be surprised if Carlos Villanueva is coming back to Seattle in any deal the M’s make with the Brewers. He’s falling out of favor in Milwaukee, thanks to a 6.18 ERA in relief, but his FIP is just 4.22. His fastball is underwhelming, but he throws a bunch of off-speed stuff and has solid command, and he’s got experience in the rotation. He’s the kind of major league arm that the M’s would like to get to replace Washburn, and one that the Brewers would actually be willing to give up.


119 Responses to “The Washburn To Milwaukee Stuff”

  1. msb on July 27th, 2009 7:43 am

    It’s late…I’m tired…but what does the radio/tv contract have to do with moving anyone?

    Just what Ravech asked! Gammon thinks that with that contract, the M’s won’t want to look like they are giving up to their fans.

  2. Tek Jansen on July 27th, 2009 7:44 am

    Carson, I completely agree with your take on Zduriencik maximizing Washburn. Just because past [MARINERS] GMs have traded away good young players for average major league vets doesn’t mean that other teams will do so.

  3. Mike Snow on July 27th, 2009 8:15 am

    because the Mariners have a fabulous radio/tv contract, they won’t move Washburn, but will re-sign him

    The current local broadcasting contracts aren’t quite as fabulous for the team as they used to be.

  4. Puffy on July 27th, 2009 8:51 am

    Could Brignac play second or could Escobar play second if they can lets also trade Jose Lopez along with Morrow and Clement, Washburn. We can have Escobar and Brignac as our new double play combo.

    Oh, and we could throw in some magic beans too!

    Brignac is the Rays’ #4 prospect in a stacked system. As recently as 2008, he ranked #39 in MLB. Escobar is the Brewers’ #1 prospect and SS of the future.

    You could split Seattle’s 25-man roster in half, take out Felix, Saunders, Gutierrez, and Ichiro, and offer 10 guys to the Brewers and 11 guys to Tampa Bay and not land either of these prospects.

    I don’t see why so many of you wouldn’t be happy with JJ Hardy for Washburn. This would be an outstanding deal for Seattle. He’s always had above average defense and offense. He’s suffering from a low BABIP this year and has slightly below average offensive production, but is still an outstanding defensive SS. He would stabilize the SS position for the remainder of this year and next. This would free the front office to focus on other areas of need in order to continue to compete. I think this trade would even help them in 2009.

    And all of this for a league average starter who is playing over his head this year. Don’t get me wrong, Washburn has shown tremendous improvement – heck, he could be the next Jamie Moyer. But he benefits from the Mariners’ OF defense and Safeco Field, will be gone at the end of the year, and has never been a front line starter.

    He is no Sabathia, no Halladay, and not even a Cliff Lee. An above average major league shortstop would be an excellent return.

  5. joser on July 27th, 2009 9:39 am

    But “Team X should trade us their all-stars in return for our garbage” has been a staple of Loud Guys on Barstools for, like, ever. It’s a tradition.

  6. msb on July 27th, 2009 10:30 am

    But “Team X should trade us their all-stars in return for our garbage” has been a staple of Loud Guys on Barstools for, like, ever. It’s a tradition.

    And it doesn’t help when the radio talking-heads just read the trade-rumors from various papers without investigating/mentioning how likely or unlikely said trade might be…

  7. msb on July 27th, 2009 10:37 am

    Baker puts in his 2 cents on Escobar & Hardy

  8. Catherwood on July 27th, 2009 11:08 am

    Thanks for the link, msb. I can’t see us throwing Morrow into a deal at all; am I crazy? What’s our rotation next year? Felix, RRS, and what? Batista? (*shudder*) Silva? (*gagging noises*)

    Don’t we have to pencil Morrow in as something like number 3/4/5 starter next year?

  9. Adam B. on July 27th, 2009 11:44 am

    In Geoff’s defense, Someone like Morrow is much more replaceable then someone like Escobar.

    What is Morrow’s anticipated level of performance next year? It certainly couldn’t realistically be a higher ceiling then say a 3rd or 4th pitcher. 3-4 spot righties aren’t as difficult or expensive to acquire as young quality short-stops.

    That said, In the highly unlikely chance Escobar is a Mariner next week I will be happily eating a huge serving of crow.

  10. mr_cysco on July 27th, 2009 12:13 pm

    So today we’ve seen Wash tied in with trade rumors to The Brewers, Yankees and Phillies.

    Something tells me this isn’t going to get done before Washburn’s next start.

    What should the club do? Let him pitch and risk injury or a bad performance? Or, bench him until he’s traded?


  11. BobbyAyalaFan4Life on July 27th, 2009 12:15 pm

    Can’t we just bring back yuni? I’m sure they;d take washburn for him… 🙂 j/k

  12. just a fan on July 27th, 2009 12:27 pm

    I’m sorry, but this is lunacy. I guess this is wishful thinking that some day we’ll fleece another team the way the Orioles fleeced us, but how much better off would we be if we had Jones, Sherrill, and soon-to-be-MLB-stud Chris Tillman back? With whom are we “replacing” those guys from our own system?

    Well, I’m not expecting to get the equivalent of Jones, Sherrill and Tillman. But if it was just Jones for Bedard, we just drafted Dustin Ackley. And don’t forget Franklin Gutierrez.

    If we’re talking about the Brewers trading for Washburn, they’re obviously gunning for this season. Their deal for Felipe Lopez indicates that. Last year’s Sabathia trade indicates that’s their strategy. Prince Fielder’s skyrocketing contract after 2010 — along with the increases Gallardo, Hardy and Braun will be due in coming years — indicates a reason for urgency in Milwaukee.

    I’m not saying they would trade Escobar-for-Washburn and Morrow and/or whoever else. But there would be a rationale for them to make that deal. So I wouldn’t rule it out like others have. If they are targeting this 4 or 5 year period (beginning in 2007), maybe Escobar doesn’t surpass Hardy until after they’ve lost Fielder to an $18 million contract from the Cubs. And if they’re making this deal for this year, then certainly Escobar can’t be counted on to improve over Hardy. And Hardy doesn’t make sense for the Mariners.

    Maybe I’m just being hopeful.

  13. joser on July 27th, 2009 1:17 pm

    But if it was just Jones for Bedard, we just drafted Dustin Ackley.

    At the time of the Bedard trade, Dave said “I wouldn’t trade Jones for Bedard, straight up.” I think time has proven him right. Great prospects and prime defensive positions are really rare and worth a lot. The way to overcome ugly escalating contracts is to replace them with cheap, good guys you’ve developed. Yes, you can do the “boom and bust” model where you try to win it all and then clear the decks and start over, or you can keep trading away players as they get old and expensive and replacing them with cost-controlled guys from below. They already tried to go all the way with the Sabathia contract last year; I don’t know how many more of those they have in them. And, as others have said, given that precedent there’s no way they trade away a better prospect to get a lesser pitcher.

  14. just a fan on July 27th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Dave said “I wouldn’t trade Jones for Bedard, straight up.” I think time has proven him right. Great prospects and prime defensive positions are really rare and worth a lot.

    Dave was right. But, we traded our CF of the future, and a year and a half later, we have two new CFs of the future (Gutierrez and Ackley). Did it set us back a few years? Of course! But it’s not like the M’s turned into the Royals. One of the problems with that trade was the Bedard trade showed the division between the best course for the club (building with youth) and the best course for the GM (win now or be fired).

    Yes, you can do the “boom and bust” model where you try to win it all and then clear the decks and start over, or you can keep trading away players as they get old and expensive and replacing them with cost-controlled guys from below.

    And that’s all I’m saying, that they have two strategies from which to pick. I saw a lot of “they won’t” in this thread. I’m only saying they might. Because I really wish the M’s had gone with the first option at the beginning of this decade when they had their window.

  15. joser on July 27th, 2009 2:08 pm

    And I’d still rather have the 1990-1999 Braves than the ’97-’03 Marlins, despite the difference in WS rings.

  16. scottiedawg on July 27th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Is Devaris Gordon either untouchable (from the Dodgers’ point of view) or undesirable (from the M’s point of view) for Washburn and other pieces?

  17. mca on July 27th, 2009 3:26 pm

    All the trade talk between Milwaukee and Seattle is very intriguing to me, because, as a transplant, I’m a relatively new Mariners fan and I’ve been a Brewers fan since I became a baseball fan. Because of that, if a deal is done, I want one of the rare deals that’s good for both teams. I hope admitting divided loyalties doesn’t bar me from this website.

    For all Washburn discussion, though, I’m left with one major question. I suspect my low level of understanding of statistical analysis is causing some major holes in my logic. I would just like for someone with more knowledge to explain what those holes are.

    I agree with what seems to be the common understanding on this website, which is that Washburn is currently an overvalued asset, and most of his improvement is because of the Mariners’ improved defense.

    If the Brewers’ pitchers after Gallardo weren’t terrible, I would hate the idea of Washburn joining the staff. However, he may be a comparative improvement, even in a less pitcher friendly ballpark with less pitcher friendly outfield. As it is, I’m skeptical, and the Brewer fan part of me really does not like Washburn.

    However, the Mariner fan in me is actually coming around to valuing Washburn. That said, if I were only a Mariner fan, I would love a straight up trade for Hardy. However, I’m wondering why when Washburn’s value to the Mariners is discussed, it seems his value is always discussed in absolute terms, whereas, I would think–admittedly, probably incorrectly–that his value would be better measured relative to the circumstances in which he pitches. It seems that because the Mariners have defense that complements his pitching style and has allowed him to look like a really good pitcher, continuing the pairing of Washburn + great outfield defense would allow him to continue to be, at worst, a better than average pitcher for the Mariners. Perhaps I tend to over-value that because other pitchers have not yet been able to equally take advantage of the defense (I’m sure a great shortstop would help) or maybe I’m not sufficiently accounting for luck. Why isn’t Washburn more valuable to the Mariners (and therefore the Mariners to Washburn) than he would be to other teams? Thanks for any feedback.

  18. tmac9311 on July 27th, 2009 9:47 pm

    I just read Baker’s post and i think he makes a valid case, what would it take to land Escobar? Wash/Morrow/Clement? Fields? do we even have a prospect that could compare to the level Escobar is?

  19. jgemonic on July 27th, 2009 10:24 pm

    I would be very okay with Washburn and Clement for Hardy. In fact, I would be ecstatic.

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