Trade deadline a Wash for M's

Elliott SmithCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

SEATTLE  - SEPTEMBER 16:  Starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn #56 of the Seattle Mariners is removed from the game in the fifth inning by manager John McLaren #8 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on September 16, 2007 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington. Catcher Jamie Burke #15 is at right. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

The trade deadline came and went Friday, and as expected, the Mariners dealt Jarrod Washburn away. Perhaps the only surprising thing was the team to which he was traded—the Detroit Tigers.

From the Tigers’ perspective, it was a no-brainer—they get a quality starter to plug into their rotation as they make their playoff push.

Detroit, however, was a late addition to the Washburn sweepstakes, as the Brewers, Yankees and Dodgers were among the teams thought to have the most interest in the lefty.

The Mariners got promising starter Luke French, who will move into the Mariners’ increasingly young rotation, and minor-league prospect Mauricio Robles.

From my viewpoint, the deal was an excellent one by savvy GM Jack Zduriencik, who, under the radar, had a very successful month. You’ll hear a lot about the Red Sox and Phillies, but I like the deals the Mariners made given their tricky situation.

Sitting on the border of contender and pretender, Jackie Z couldn’t do anything blatant to weaken the team on the field, but couldn’t ignore some of the holes and financial ramifications the M’s faced.

And so, he turned Washburn, disappointing Ronny Cedeno, untested Jeff Clement and prospects into a starting shortstop (Jack Wilson) and two potential starters (French and Ian Snell.) Don’t forget also the Yuniesky Betancourt deal, which netted two decent prospects from the Royals.

I’m sure Zduriencik would have preferred to have traded Erik Bedard, but since Bedard is on the DL with sand in his vagina, that wasn’t an option. So, Washburn was the logical choice, and if everything works out, Seattle could get him back next year with a hometown discount.

Playing the trade deadline game can be something that can haunt you for years (just ask any Seattle fan about Heathcliff Slocumb), but I think the Mariners can be pleased with the way things turned out.