Seattle Mariners Notes: Washburn, Branyan, and The Trade Deadline

Casey McLainSenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 12:  Starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn #56 of the Seattle Mariners reacts after giving up a home run to Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the game at Angel Stadium on August 12, 2008 in Anaheim, California. The Angels defeated the Mariners 7-3.   (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

As the trade deadline approaches this post may become irrelevant quickly, as the trade deadline will come and go as I’m on my way to the ocean.

I’d just like to update and offer my opinion of the Mariners news and rumors.

Jarrod Washburn to Detroit for Luke French and Mauricio Robles

The deal has been reported as either two or three pitching prospects for Washburn at this point.

The Mariners actually appear to have gained as a result of holding onto Washburn for another year.

Scott is a fly-ball prone lefty. Though he's posted good numbers this year, his rookie season, his fly ball propensity from the left side is part of a redundant element the Mariners have in their rotation.

While Scott has a projectable frame, (6’4”, 220 lbs), Robles is less projectable (5’10”, 160 lbs). But Robles has posted more than a strikeout per inning in split time between Single-A and Advanced-A ball.

Zduriencik’s back

After an awful trade for Jack Wilson (and Ian Snell, the good part of the deal), Z came back and made a trade that made sense.

Wilson could still get flipped for somebody, anybody would be good, as the only way to make his acquisition a coup—if he’s not traded—is to not pay him $8.4 million next year. Otherwise, they’ve traded several prospects for an overpaid, aging shortstop.

Snell offers a very good contrast to the rest of the Mariners young pitcher’s, apart from Felix Hernandez and Brandon Morrow, as he’s right handed.

Bullpen pieces

A lot of teams appear to be seeking bullpen help, which the Mariners have.

David Aardsma will be arbitration eligible after this year, and will certainly be looking at a raise, though in his first year of arbitration it may be a fairly modest increase.

Mark Lowe has the type of physical tools, an electrifying fastball and good slider, that team’s may view as a future-closer repertoire. Between injuries and inconsistency, he hasn’t put it all together, but a team may fall in love with his stuff.

Miguel Batista drew interest earlier in the year, but it may have cooled. The Mariners may have to assume most of Batista’s salary to recoup on any of his salary in a trade.

Branyan Dilemma

Branyan’s a mid-30’s successful reclamation project, but a reclamation project none-the-less.

He’s due for a huge pay increase next year, and even in an optimist’s world, has three or four more productive seasons left in his body.

The Mariners may have missed out on the market for a bat, as the Pirates got Tim Alderson for Freddy Sanchez, which would have been a great addition to the Mariners.

However, the Red Sox appear interested in acquiring Victor Martinez, and after the PR dilemma that is David Ortiz’s leaked positive test, they may be concerned about his already reduced production.

The rumor is Clay Bucholz will go to Seattle as part three-team Martinez trade, is Wilson the piece from the third team?

After two clunkers, Zduriencik returned in a big way in his acquisitions from Jarrod Washburn. This year’s deadline is easily the most anticipated in the past half decade, but with some high-paid, injury-prone veterans, the Mariners may be able to make significant moves before the waiver deadline also.