On bringing back the Bus

DMZ · November 23, 2009 at 8:00 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Ah, remember the good old days when we were putting out sales pitches for Jarrod Washburn, hoping some dumb team would bite? Good times.

Well, now there’s talk he might return to Seattle. And his knee? You won’t believe this — couldn’t be better. “It feels great now, almost like I didn’t even have a surgery. So, I don’t see it being a problem for me in the future.”

As if he was going to say something else. “It feels kind of weak and doesn’t quite support my leg, so who knows what’ll happen when I get on a mound. I’d offer me a minor league contract and a spring training invite, maybe.”

Anyway, Kenji’s gone, so I’m sure he’s already thinking it’d be even better this time. But really, if I’m going to set that whole thing aside, he is pretty well-suited for Safeco as a flyball lefty. The knee thing’s a risk, but I’m sure the M’s will do their homework on that.

The thing is… the M’s need more for their money. A lot more. If they brought Washburn back on a one-year, $6m deal, there’s some upside there. But even with Kenji out, the team’s going to be trying to squeeze wins and one of their largest constraints is going to be the payroll budget the business side gives them. If Washburn wants $10m again, the team’s better off gambling on some reclamation projects with lower price tags and riskier profiles. They can’t break even on free agent acquisitions by paying $4-5m per win this year.

Comments

65 Responses to “On bringing back the Bus”

  1. kennyb on November 23rd, 2009 8:23 am

    I hope the Mariners stay away from Washburn. They would be better off going after 2 or 3 lower priced guys and seeing who sticks. Odds are, at least 1 would outperform Washburn.

  2. Carson on November 23rd, 2009 8:23 am

    No, times a million.

    Don’t we have a guy, who we got in trade for Washburn, that is much cheaper and can do the same job?

  3. Adam B. on November 23rd, 2009 8:25 am

    If the M’s were able to sign him to something along the lines of what Randy Wolf earned last year, I wouldn’t be terribly dissapointed, but I’d hate for them to settle on Washburn as a first-choice when the market is already flush with more talented pitchers coming off injuries.

    I certainly don’t think the M’s should be giving Washburn anything near what Minnesota or Milwaukee will probably be willing to give him in dollars or years. (ie. anything more then ~5M and an option year)

  4. BillP on November 23rd, 2009 8:33 am

    Maybe he realizes that the Safeco outfield (and its guardians) make him look like a god, and he’d be willing to take $6 million in return for (possibly) a *full* year of pumping up his stats and a big payday from some dumb team in 2011?

    Just anything to keep Billy Smith and my worst-outfield-in-the-league Twins away from him…

  5. joealb1 on November 23rd, 2009 8:39 am

    JUST SAY NO!

  6. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 8:40 am

    If the M’s were able to sign him to something along the lines of what Randy Wolf earned last year, I wouldn’t be terribly dissapointed

    I would be.

    The marginal wins Washburn would provide over French or RRS would not be worth the cost of his salary over theirs.

    I believe that Washburn could perform better than RRS over a season (to the tune of about half a win) or maybe a full win over French/Hill/Fister/etc. But if he costs more than $3M, what’s the point?

    That $3M could be spent acquiring more than a one win upgrade at 1B, DH, 3B, or other SP.

  7. joe simpson can hit on November 23rd, 2009 8:48 am

    I will always give Washburn props for what he was able to do for the Mariners last year. I saw him in spring training and he got raked so bad I thought he was done. Then he bulldogged a lot of good performances during the season. But, having said that, the only way you bring him back is for minimal money. I think Stags’ cap of $3M is the absolute max.

  8. Mike Snow on November 23rd, 2009 8:49 am

    On the plus side, if they did sign Washburn to a one-year deal, maybe he’d be good enough to actually earn the team a free agent compensation pick at the end, unlike this year. Oh, wait, that would mean they’d have to offer him arbitration. Never mind.

  9. Paul B on November 23rd, 2009 9:14 am

    Maybe he won’t get any offers, and the M’s can pick him up on a cheap one year deal (and I mean cheap, less than 6 million).

    If not, then stay away.

  10. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 9:39 am

    (and I mean cheap, less than 6 million).

    That’s not cheap enough. That’s a pretty decent 1B this summer or most of what it would take to get Beltre back.

    Would you rather have Wasbhurn than either of those two?

  11. Adam B. on November 23rd, 2009 9:43 am

    My emphasis for bringing Washburn back is only as a last resort if a better pitcher cannot be obtained.

    I think far too many people have personal issues with Washburn to remember that he is a decent option in Safeco.

    Certainly only marginally better then French, Fister or Vargas, but if it gets to the point in the season where the Mariners are looking for marginal upgrades, then he is an option, and not a waste of money at half of what he was earning last year.

  12. Captain Lars on November 23rd, 2009 10:02 am

    I was disappointed with Washburn for the first 2 1/2 years he was with us but he actually pitched well the last half of 2008 and most of 2009. In fact he was on a pretty good role when we traded him to Detroit. I wouldn’t mind having him back if we can’t land a better arm as long as the cost is reasonable and the contract is short. We don’t have a lot of big league ready starters in the high minors so it’s not like he would be blocking some stud arm that was knocking on the door. Safeco and our current outfield defense is actually a pretty good fit for him.

  13. smb on November 23rd, 2009 10:39 am

    I dunno, happy as I was to see him go, he does seem to pitch well when he’s got his next contract to play for. At $6M or less and for only one year, I’d say he’s potentially worth it. I don’t think there’s any way he signs a one year contract for less than $9M until well after he’s been crapped out the back end of free agency with the rest of the has-beens and has no choice but to accept it or not play. I’m inclined to think he fervently believes he’s worth $10M or more a season for 3 of 4…I doubt any team is dumb enough to give him that, though.

  14. Alex on November 23rd, 2009 10:39 am

    I like Washburn at the right price. It does make a lot of sense for him to play in Seattle. With our outfield defense and the size of Safeco’s left field, he has more value in Seattle than on any other team. Our strength covers up and minimizes his weakness.

  15. Broadcast James on November 23rd, 2009 10:48 am

    Sign him, trade for more prospects, re-sign him, trade for more prospects… rinse… repeat….

  16. wabbles on November 23rd, 2009 10:53 am

    The idea of re-signing The Bus seems very much like the idea of signing Griffey last off-season. It was the right to do at the right time. (Signing him for 2010 was not, but that’s settled.) If this were 2007 or 2008 and we needed a decent flyball lefty who wasn’t too expensive, then yeah. But I think, just like with Griffey, we’ve moved past the point where we need even a cheap Washburn.

  17. Adam B. on November 23rd, 2009 11:18 am

    I think, just like with Griffey, we’ve moved past the point where we need even a cheap Washburn.

    I think the Mariners will have moved beyond needing Washburn when Ryan Rowland-Smith and Brandon Morrow aren’t our best options after Felix. That could be easily rectified with a Harden, Sheets or Bedard signing, but until that happens the M’s need pitching, even if it comes in the form of someone as unappealing as a budget soft-tossing lefty.

  18. maqman on November 23rd, 2009 11:22 am

    Nix! Nein! No! Never!!!
    A few months of decency doesn’t make up for three years of decrepitude. Any one of Harden, Sheets or Bedard would be worth more on the occasions they were not on the DL than Washburn on a good day.

  19. Paul B on November 23rd, 2009 11:25 am

    CMC_Stags

    That’s not cheap enough. That’s a pretty decent 1B this summer or most of what it would take to get Beltre back.

    Would you rather have Wasbhurn than either of those two?

    I was commenting on Derek’s blog, where he said:

    If they brought Washburn back on a one-year, $6m deal, there’s some upside there.

    And saying that was too much money.

    So we agree on that.

  20. GripS on November 23rd, 2009 11:46 am

    I’m with the ‘NO!’ votes. Especially after watching him go back to his usual form when he was traded to Detroit. There’s a reason why Detroit doesn’t want him back.

  21. DMZ on November 23rd, 2009 11:46 am

    Well, to be clear, I said that at $6m there’s some upside, not that it’s a good value — and then I go on to talk about why they’d be better off spending the money elsewhere.

  22. jjracoon on November 23rd, 2009 12:21 pm

    If Johjima hadnt decided to go back to Japan, I doubt if this would be a topice of discussion. The extra money that is available gives the team more options. That said I believe what we saw in 2009 is not going to be repeated by Washburn in 2010 so get someone who still has the potential to a higher upside (Harden) and get the 1st baseman/dh (Johnson). Z WILL spend wisely!!!!

  23. Hassleberry on November 23rd, 2009 12:27 pm

    Who are our confirmed starters next year?

    1.Felix (and we can’t even say that with 100% certainty)
    2.Ryan Rowland-Smith (I’d say he’s pretty likely right? He’s fairly reliable I’d say)
    3.Ian Snell (?)
    4.Silva/Morrow/French/Fister/Vargas/Someone else from the organization/Free Agent/
    5.Same as 4

  24. et_blankenship on November 23rd, 2009 12:35 pm

    This FA class features more red flags than a Chinese New Year parade. I wish the M’s were flush because the total number of regrettable contracts dolled out over the next 5 months promises to be huge.

    I know it’s just speculation, but does anybody have a feel for what the market might dictate for Washburn in comparison to Sheets, Bedard, Harden and Penny?

  25. ThundaPC on November 23rd, 2009 1:29 pm

    I wouldn’t mind considering one more year of Jarrod Washburn after the rest of the moves are made and if there’s surplus cash available; No more than say, $4 million (or whatever’s left on payroll below that mark) assuming he’s still unsigned by February.

    I can’t foresee a situation like that coming up, however. The moves we make without signing J-Wash should max out payroll as we try to squeeze out as many wins as possible. Still, it’s an option I guess.

  26. nathaniel dawson on November 23rd, 2009 1:29 pm

    A few months of decency doesn’t make up for three years of decrepitude. Any one of Harden, Sheets or Bedard would be worth more on the occasions they were not on the DL than Washburn on a good day.

    I’m not sure why you would describe Washburn’s pitching as “three years of decrepitude”. He was a decent pitcher for us his first three years, and of course last year, was very good with the Mariners.

  27. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 1:37 pm

    Certainly only marginally better then French, Fister or Vargas, but if it gets to the point in the season where the Mariners are looking for marginal upgrades, then he is an option, and not a waste of money at half of what he was earning last year.

    Okay. Can we all agree that Washburn is probably a marginal (less than 1 WAR) improvement over whoever the M’s currently have as their 5th starter? For example:

    4.Silva/Morrow/French/Fister/Vargas/Someone else from the organization/Free Agent/
    5.Same as 4

    So take that less than 1 WAR and divide it by what he’d get on a one year deal and that’s what he’s worth to the M’s. Not his total WAR / cost, but the marginal WAR / marginal cost of acquisition (in his case, the salary for the year).

    If that’s anywhere over $3-4M or so, the M’s are better off spending the money elsewhere.

    To Dave’s point from his early post about taking risks, the upside of Washburn over whoever the M’s 5th starter currently is would be about 1 win. The upside of someone like Sheets/Harden is about 3-5 wins on a good year for either of them. The downside of them breaking is limited due to the fact the M’s have fungible 5th starters in the bullpen and AAA.

    If the M’s are going to spend $6-10M on a starter, let it be for a risky with some larger potential value guy like Sheets or Harden.

    If they can get Washburn cheap enough, great, but I just don’t think $6M is cheap enough.

  28. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 1:47 pm

    I’m not sure why you would describe Washburn’s pitching as “three years of decrepitude”. He was a decent pitcher for us his first three years, and of course last year, was very good with the Mariners.

    WAR by year:
    06: 1.9
    07: 1.9
    08: 1.3
    09: 2.1 (2.7 with the M’s)

    So that’s 3 years of below average WAR (2 being average) and one year with a just over average WAR.

    If decent = just below average and very good = a bit above average, then Washburn fits the description. On average, Washburn has been a below average starter for the last 4 years.

  29. joealb1 on November 23rd, 2009 1:53 pm

    nathaniel dawson, I submit to you as evidence that the Bus in fact was not very good at any time during his M’s career. Even his 3 months of decent performance before he was traded to Detriot was more luck then talent.

    FIP

    2006 4.78
    2007 4.77
    2008 4.72
    2009 4.58

  30. Alex on November 23rd, 2009 2:23 pm

    WAR by year:
    06: 1.9
    07: 1.9
    08: 1.3
    09: 2.1 (2.7 with the M’s)

    Thats basically three league average years with one year thats a half win below average.

    He is basically a league average pitcher, or just below. A league average veteran free agent is going to cost you around $8 million. So if we got Washburn at 1 year / 6 million that would be pretty decent.

    2006-2008 looked bad because of the poor outfield defense. 2009 with the Mariners looked great due to the outfield defense. (And its funny that we traded him to the Tigers for value and he gave them -0.6 wins).

  31. Alex on November 23rd, 2009 2:42 pm

    Okay. Can we all agree that Washburn is probably a marginal (less than 1 WAR) improvement over whoever the M’s currently have as their 5th starter?

    Dave posted his thoughts on the projected WAR values of the current Mariners players in this post:
    http://ussmariner.com/2009/10/06/the-foundation/

    He values our starting pitchers’s WAR at:
    Felix: 5.0
    RRS: 1.5
    Morrow: 1.0
    Snell: 1.0
    Fister: 0.5 / Vargas: 0.5

    Washburn is in the 1.5-2 area, based on the past several years. So we are looking at a 1 to 1.5 WAR upgrade over our 5th starter (who would be pushed out). That 5th starter could probably give us some value in long relief, or in the bullpen, so we dont lose all of that 0.5 WAR, but we do lose some of it.

    I’m going to say that Washburn over our 5th starter is therefore about 1.5 WAR in value gained.

    Looking at it this way (valuing just the upgrade), we could barely justify 6 million but not any more.

    The situation changes if we do something like trade Morrow or another one of the projected starters. Then we would get the full 2 wins of value out of Washburn filling that hole.

    I am ok with the Marienrs signing Washburn at 6 million for one year or less, IF we cant do better. However I would prefer to sign someone like Lackey or Harden for a reasonable deal, or make a trade. So if we signed Washburn and it prevented that signing/trade from happening, that wouldnt be good.

  32. Typical Idiot Fan on November 23rd, 2009 2:48 pm

    Washburn is in the 1.5-2 area, based on the past several years

    Pitchers who age and have had a recent knee injury shouldn’t be projected to meet their past expectations automatically.

  33. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 2:57 pm

    Washburn is in the 1.5-2 area, based on the past several years.

    As TIF said, it’s more like 0.5-2.0 range for Washburn. And really, both Fister and Vargas (as well as Olson and Silva) are in the 0-1.5 range.

    The situation changes if we do something like trade Morrow or another one of the projected starters. Then we would get the full 2 wins of value out of Washburn filling that hole.

    No, because this team really has like 4-6 5th Starting Pitchers. If you’re doing a valuation for Washburn as an upgrade the team has plenty of back of the rotation arms before he’d be an slot in replacement.

    I am ok with the Marienrs signing Washburn at 6 million for one year or less, IF we cant do better. However I would prefer to sign someone like Lackey or Harden for a reasonable deal, or make a trade. So if we signed Washburn and it prevented that signing/trade from happening, that wouldnt be good.

    While I disagree with Washburn being adding to the team at $5M or more (or really any more than $3M with IP incentives), I agree that the team can do better with the money at SP (or at 3B, 1B, DH) and that doing those deals will probably proclude the M’s from going after Washburn.

  34. nathaniel dawson on November 23rd, 2009 2:59 pm

    WAR by year:
    06: 1.9
    07: 1.9
    08: 1.3
    09: 2.1 (2.7 with the M’s)

    So that’s 3 years of below average WAR (2 being average) and one year with a just over average WAR.

    If decent = just below average and very good = a bit above average, then Washburn fits the description. On average, Washburn has been a below average starter for the last 4 years.

    nathaniel dawson, I submit to you as evidence that the Bus in fact was not very good at any time during his M’s career. Even his 3 months of decent performance before he was traded to Detriot was more luck then talent.

    FIP

    2006 4.78
    2007 4.77
    2008 4.72
    2009 4.58

    I”m not sure why either of you would want to use FIP to evaluate a pitcher’s real production on the field (Fangraphs WAR uses FIP as it’s basis for calculating production). For one thing, it only uses three components in it’s calculation, which quite likely ignores many things which might be important for a pitcher’s ability to prevent runs, and disregards any consideration of actual runs scored. Preventing runs is, after all, what a pitcher is trying to do when they pitch.

  35. CMC_Stags on November 23rd, 2009 3:09 pm

    I”m not sure why either of you would want to use FIP to evaluate a pitcher’s real production on the field

    Because using FIP attempts to remove the affect the defense has on the Pitcher’s results and measures things the pitcher can control. We could use tRA if you want to control for GB/LD/FB tendencies.

    What would you suggest we use? We both submitted data to the discussion showing that Washburn was not a “good” pitcher and that he is of small value to the team as it is currently built.

    Saying you don’t like the way we did it without offering a reasonable counterpoint is a failed argument.

  36. joealb1 on November 23rd, 2009 3:13 pm

    This is true but an even better statement would be that a pitcher along with his defense are trying to prevent runs. FIP seperates out what the pitcher can and cannot control. If the Bus’s FIP had a more then .25 variance then I would say that his improvement with the M’s last year might be sustainable. See Dave’s post on how to evaluate pitching talent on the upper left of this page.

  37. Alex on November 23rd, 2009 3:18 pm

    CMC_Stags, good points.

    Pitchers who age and have had a recent knee injury shouldn’t be projected to meet their past expectations automatically.

    True, but it wasnt an arm surgery. There definitely is risk here.

    No, because this team really has like 4-6 5th Starting Pitchers. If you’re doing a valuation for Washburn as an upgrade the team has plenty of back of the rotation arms before he’d be an slot in replacement.

    I was counting the extras as being replacement level, but maybe they arent? If any of them are above replacement, then I agree. And given that we have a number of them, its likely that several will be replacement level but someone will improve and perform well and be worth a win. Therefore we should put some value on that starting pitching slot that we are giving up.

    I certainly see the rationale behind the ‘no more than $3 million’ opinion. You make a small change to assumptions (being less optimistic about his health and predicting him at a lower WAR, or slightly increasing the value of whoever is replacing him), and then the fair value falls from $6-8 million to $3M.

  38. ppl on November 23rd, 2009 4:05 pm

    I say no, unless he is still available after the first of the year, and some other options have signed elsewhere.

    If the goal is to hold in the 78-87 win range, then Washburn may help there. But the M’s are one of the few teams in the MLB that have a legitimate #1 starter (and few in history with one as young as Felix) and they are in a good position to compete if the pieces fall into place right.

    They can go get Edwin Jackson, a #3 or #4 starter, and be fine with him as their #2. They can sign a Harden and hope for that healthy year where he emeges as a #1 calibre starter and/or resign Bedard and wait and see with him. They can hold a spot for Rowland-Smith and they can also afford to be optimistic with Ian Snell.

    I agree that they need to pursue more “Upside” guys and they need to spend on offense. And since the best chance they have to contend is to try for bust out years, and great come back years anyways, this a not a bad year for a team in the M’s position to be doing their shopping. There are some interesting free agent options available, probably a lot of non-tenders coming up as well, spend the money wisely, some teams have gone decades without a Felix Hernandez calibre pitcher at the top of their rotation.

  39. Taylor H on November 23rd, 2009 4:55 pm

    He’s 36. Too old.

    Would it be crazy to go out and get Harden and Sheets? I guess that’s more like multiplying a fraction by a fraction…

  40. Jeff Nye on November 23rd, 2009 5:27 pm

    Yeah, I have to agree. If you don’t want people to use FIP or tRA to evaluate a pitcher’s true talent, what do you recommend they use?

  41. DMZ on November 23rd, 2009 5:53 pm

    He’s 36. Too old.

    Being over 27 doesn’t mean players become useless. They’re just more likely to decline. If you can get a good value for a 39-year old productive starting pitcher, that’s perfectly fine.

  42. nathaniel dawson on November 23rd, 2009 6:07 pm

    Because using FIP attempts to remove the affect the defense has on the Pitcher’s results and measures things the pitcher can control. We could use tRA if you want to control for GB/LD/FB tendencies.

    What would you suggest we use? We both submitted data to the discussion showing that Washburn was not a “good” pitcher and that he is of small value to the team as it is currently built.

    Saying you don’t like the way we did it without offering a reasonable counterpoint is a failed argument.

    First of all, you’re going to get no argument from me regarding Washburn’s worth to the Mariners next year. He may still be able to pith effectively, but there are warning signs, and pitchers are an inherently risky lot. Especially free agent pitchers who cost a lot more than reserve players.

    I wasn’t trying to suggest you use any one thing or another. It’s usually best to use several evaluative methods when analyzing past production.
    Since you asked, I would suggest you look at runs against average as well.

    Over the first three years in which Washburn pitched for the M’s, he started 91 games, pitched 534 innings, and allowed 292 runs. That’s an average of 4.92 runs per 9 innings. That is solidly in the average group for starting pitchers in the majors. He showed remarkable durability and did a decent job of run prevention. How is that anywhere close to any definition anyone could have for “pitching like decrepitude”?

    And since you brought up WAR, as far as I know, Fangraphs WAR doesn’t take into account pitcher durability. Someone recently looked back over the last few decades of free agency and determined that for every ten dollars Major League teams spent on free agent pitchers, they received 6 dollars back in actual value on the field. Sorry, I don’t have a link for you, but I can’t believe that anybody that follows baseball would be shocked at that. A pitcher that can make the vast majority of their starts over a four year period and do an average to above average job at run prevention provides a huge value to a team. That has to be considered when you look at the job a pticher has done for a team.

    nathaniel dawson, I submit to you as evidence that the Bus in fact was not very good at any time during his M’s career. Even his 3 months of decent performance before he was traded to Detriot was more luck then talent.

    FIP

    2006 4.78
    2007 4.77
    2008 4.72
    2009 4.58

    I didn’t say that Washburn was very good. But if you want to talk about whether Washburn was decrepit and want to use FIP, well, what’s wrong with a pitcher that can be league average as a starter and make the vast majority of his starts over a four year period? How could he have done that if he was decrepit?

  43. diderot on November 23rd, 2009 6:13 pm

    Let’s consider what we’re facing here: the resigning of Griffey (baseball’s worst DH) is a marketing cover for the fact that Z understands the team is not great…and not a realistic contender this year. But this also helps buy him another year to see which of the youngsters might produce. In other words, as Moore and Saunders and Tui struggle, you might not mind as much as you jump out of your seat and lovingly look at Griffey through those 1995 goggles.

    Obviously, the short-term strategy is pitching and defense (and I say, hooray to that), So, if the bet is that Edwin Jackson is a better bet than Morrow (I don’t), then you go do that. If you can pry another under-30 decent starter from somewhere, you go do that.

    But in no case do you spend on a 36-year-old under-performer. If Washburn were signed, it would be the first legitimate reason to question the Z regime.

  44. DMZ on November 23rd, 2009 6:33 pm

    I don’t think there’s any evidence that our GM doesn’t think the team’s not a contender this year.

    Moreover, I don’t know that he could know if the team was a potential contender yet, before so much of the winter’s work is done.

  45. diderot on November 23rd, 2009 6:37 pm

    Derek,

    Yes, there’s a lot to be sorted out not only for the M’s, but by others in the division. But don’t you agree that giving a roster spot to a one-dimensional, sub-par DH indicates that we’re not trying to maximize wins this year?

  46. Taylor H on November 23rd, 2009 6:40 pm

    Being over 27 doesn’t mean players become useless. They’re just more likely to decline. If you can get a good value for a 39-year old productive starting pitcher, that’s perfectly fine.

    You’re absolutely right. But would you rather have a 27-year-old (say Ryan Rowland-Smith) with Washburn’s skills or Jarrod Washburn himself? Seems to me the issue of age and decline is a pretty big problem.

  47. Taylor H on November 23rd, 2009 6:42 pm

    But don’t you agree that giving a roster spot to a one-dimensional, sub-par DH indicates that we’re not trying to maximize wins this year?

    I’m not DMZ, but I can promise you Griffey is a very special case. He’s there for hugs and laughter and veteran-ness and clubhouse chemistry. Z would replace him in a heartbeat if Griffey hadn’t had such a profound effect on Ichiro’s happiness.

  48. Jeff Nye on November 23rd, 2009 6:53 pm

    Can we maybe leave the Griffey argument in the thirty million threads it’s happened in before?

  49. diderot on November 23rd, 2009 7:19 pm

    Can we maybe leave the Griffey argument in the thirty million threads it’s happened in before?

    Perfectly fine with me. All I’m asserting is that the Griffey signing indicates we’re not looking to maximize wins this year…thus, signing a 36-year-old Washburn makes no sense when his starts could be given to someone with more years ahead of him.

  50. Jeff Nye on November 23rd, 2009 7:52 pm

    It’s way, way too early to be assuming that, just from one roster move that could have a myriad of other motives behind it.

  51. joealb on November 23rd, 2009 7:59 pm

    nathaniel dawson, nothing inherently wrong with an innings eater 5th starter but why would you want to waste budget on a guy who you already have on your roster. RRS, Snell, Vargas, Fister, and French all fill the 4-5 roll. The M’s need to get lucky with money spent in free agency on pitching and the Bus is what he is. League average in the 2-3 slot isn’t going to make this team a serious contender unless “Z” can keep the defense REALLY good and get the Cards to give them Pujols or the Twins to give him Mauer for free…..

  52. TranquilPsychosis on November 23rd, 2009 10:07 pm

    Moreover, I don’t know that he could know if the team was a potential contender yet, before so much of the winter’s work is done.

    I agree with what I assume this point to be. Which is; wait and see. Z has already shown us that he’s more than capable of making good baseball decisions. Let’s see what he does and make our judgements then.

    Can we maybe leave the Griffey argument in the thirty million threads it’s happened in before?

    Yes, please.

    It’s way, way too early to be assuming that, just from one roster move that could have a myriad of other motives behind it.

    Exactly. I have faith in the direction the team is going now. You should too. Second guessing should be saved for if/when it fails to give a positive result. (which hasn’t happened yet actually)

    The M’s need to get lucky with money spent in free agency on pitching and the Bus is what he is. League average in the 2-3 slot isn’t going to make this team a serious contender unless “Z” can keep the defense REALLY good and get the Cards to give them Pujols or the Twins to give him Mauer for free…..

    While I agree with your first point, I don’t really see Z making trades/signings that make our team worse even if the defense doesn’t end up being quite as good. He has already shown us that defense is a priority and I seriously doubt that has changed.

    He actually seems to be rather good at re-loading as opposed to re-building. Again, let’s wait and see.

  53. Kazinski on November 23rd, 2009 10:36 pm

    Since DMZ brought up the topic of “hoping some dumb team will bite”, I just heard [nope!]

  54. SonOfZavaras on November 24th, 2009 2:22 am

    We have too many pieces that are slotted at #4 and #5 starting pitcher as it is- French, Fister, Petit, Vargas and maybe Ryan Feierabend. To a degree, Ryan Rowland-Smith, too.

    They need starts and time played to figure out if any of them are going to be long-term solutions or more than what they are now.

    I give cred to Washburn for being as good as what he was in 2009 for us. But, to me? He doesn’t make sense to be on our team in 2010- not with this many options to possibly provide the same value already on board.

    And I don’t even wanna hear about “veteran grit” on this one…

  55. pinball1973 on November 24th, 2009 4:15 am

    To paraphrase the general repling to Col. Blake in M*A*S*H (the movie),

    “Bus” Washburn? Screw him!

    Just give me a feckin’ break and don’t bring up that backstabbing piece of filth here again.

    Thank you.

  56. msb on November 24th, 2009 8:30 am

    but … Jon Heyman tells me that “Knee issues hurt him in Detroit, but he starred in Seattle before that. His great rapport with Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair make them a natural reunion.”

  57. rsrobinson on November 24th, 2009 1:25 pm

    I’d be okay with giving Washburn a one-year $6 million deal but no more than that and definitely not a multi-year deal. Besides Felix, RRS is the only one that really looked like he earned a spot in the 2010 rotation. It’s a crapshoot predicting what we’re going to get out of Morrow, Snell, French, etc.

  58. Steve Nelson on November 24th, 2009 1:30 pm

    but … Jon Heyman tells me that “Knee issues hurt him in Detroit, but he starred in Seattle before that. His great rapport with Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair make them a natural reunion.”

    What else would Heyman say? Isn’t it Heyman’s job to shill for Boras?

  59. nathaniel dawson on November 24th, 2009 1:46 pm

    nathaniel dawson, nothing inherently wrong with an innings eater 5th starter but why would you want to waste budget on a guy who you already have on your roster. RRS, Snell, Vargas, Fister, and French

    I wouldn’t want to. I’m not sure where you got the idea that I did, as I never said anything like that.

  60. PADJ on November 24th, 2009 1:55 pm

    As long as it’s in vogue to do so, offer him a one year, incentive laden contract including an incentive to earn more by being the poster boy for clubhouse unity. :-)

  61. amnizu on November 24th, 2009 2:43 pm

    I gotta say, I’m with the thanks but no thanks crowd here. I agree Washburn is a serviceable left handed starter that is at or slightly above MLB average. Really, the team doesn’t need any more of those, Z spent most of last season picking that type of player up on the cheap. For the M’s to improve they need to invest their payroll in players that provide the chance at above average MLB production. I think the roster as it stands now is about a 80 to 84 win team (assuming Beltre leaves, and Guiti comes down to earth a little). In my opinion Washburn does not improve the team enough to warrant his expenditure. His salary is better spent elsewhere, even at 3 to 4 mil.

  62. PositivePaul on November 24th, 2009 10:33 pm

    I’m thinking Dave’s head would explode if they brought back Washburn. From what I know about Dave, Washburn’s pretty much not one of his favorite players. I specifically remember some after dinner conversation I had with Dave about Washburn, and I tried to argue that Washburn wasn’t entirely useless (though admitting he’s nothing special), and Dave & I agreed to disagree…

    I’m not a Washburn fan, but he might be useful under certain circumstances. Hopefully it’s like plan “Q” or later…

    I’m just soooo glad we don’t have to deal with the infamous “Plan B’s” of Bavasi (i.e. when his main target isn’t available, he takes the same offer to someone else – See Ramirez, Horacio; Silva, Carlos et al.).

  63. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 8:14 am

    See Ramirez, Horacio

    Pardon me, but didn’t he come in a trade?

  64. Taylor H on November 25th, 2009 10:55 am

    I’m just soooo glad we don’t have to deal with the infamous “Plan B’s” of Bavasi (i.e. when his main target isn’t available, he takes the same offer to someone else – See Ramirez, Horacio; Silva, Carlos et al.).

    You have no way of knowing that this is how his mind functions.

  65. PositivePaul on November 25th, 2009 11:21 pm

    Pardon me, but didn’t he come in a trade?

    Right. It was a trade he made after ones he wanted to make didn’t pan out, and when other Free Agents didn’t want his money.

    You have no way of knowing that this is how his mind functions.

    I won’t claim to know how his mind functions, but I did directly ask him (at FanFest) what the hell he was thinking. He admitted (off the mike) it wasn’t his first choice, so…

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