Looks like the apparent blunder of nixing a Washburn deal with the Minnesota Twins last year was not much of a mistake.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are reportedly interested in the 34-year-old veteran starting pitcher. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has been scouting the Dodgers farm squads over the past few days likely for possible trade packages. It is no surprise the Dodgers want to upgrade their pitching staff before the trading deadline. They are 22 games over .500 and if they can nail down that final spot in their rotation, they can just put their season on cruise control with Manny Ramirez coming back soon.
The Mariners themselves are currently at 35-34 and only 2.5 games out of the AL West. They are not just going to give away a quality starter for nothing, especially considering his salary will no longer be an issue like it was last season in trying to offload him. With the season being about halfway done, he is slated to make around $4-5 million.
Washburn's stats are misleading (26-48 4.23 ERA), as he has something like the second lowest run support out of all AL pitchers in his tenure with the Mariners, something interested teams know.
Since the Mariners are not in a desperate situation (i.e. 30 games out and forced to sell for the future), and could either be buyers or sellers this season, it will drive the price for their players up. No matter what they decide to do, they are going to get top line young talent, or established MLB ready players.
With a confident, competent GM in Jack Zdurencik who has already shown his savvy in trades by grabbing guys like David Aardsma, Jason Vargas, Garret Olson, and Franklin Guiterrez, Mariners' fans should feel good about what goes on at this years trade deadline. It has been a refreshing change from the Bavasi era when all of the best trade chips were given away on a silver platter. I know every trade deadline of late felt like a kick to the nuts for Mariners fans.
Name one Bavasi era trade import who is currently making any impact for the Mariners. That's funny, because there are not any.
In regards to Washburn, a three prospect package containing two high rated prospects, and a mid to low level, is what can be expected. I would expect them to be looking for a SS with the lackadaisical Yuniesky Betancourt drawing the ire of many Mariners fans. I know I am not the only one wishing those Jack Wilson trade rumors had not fallen through.
A report from the Seattle Times had Dodgers OF Juan Pierre as a possible match for Washburn. Just what the Mariners need, another OF who cannot hit for power.
With JZ at the helm, just let this thing play itself out and the result should be positive Mariners fans.