Almost four years ago, the Seattle Mariners signed left hander Jarrod Washburn to a four-year, $37.5 million contract. For the first three years, he posted 31-43 record with ERA never under 4.32, WHIP always over 1.35.
Every Mariner fans thought Washburn signing was another horrible mistake made by former GM Bill Bavasi.
On his contract year, Washburn went 8-6 with ERA of 2.64, WHIP of 1.07, BAA of .223, best year while his stay in Seattle. But that didn't last long as he was dealt to the Detroit Tigers before the trade deadline for SP Luke French and RP Mauricio Robles.
Since moving over to Detroit, Washburn posted 1-3 record, ERA skyrocketed to 7.33, WHIP to 1.56, BAA of .300 for the Tigers, who missed the playoff. Washburn made only 8 starts as he was bothered by a knee injury.
Washburn filed for free agency last Thursday, so any team can sign him. Should the Mariners go after him? I'd say no.
Washburn is a flyball pitcher, which makes many people worry. Why? Because high flyball rate generally means high homerun rate. Washburn gave up 11 homers in 133.0 innings in 09 for the Mariners, 12 homers in only 43.0 innings or the Tigers. Giving up more homeruns=giving up more runs=high ERA.
Also, Washburn has low strikeout rate, posting 5.35 while he was in Seattle. That got worse after moving to Detroit, posting 4.40. Moving back to Safeco, one of the friendliest ballpark for pitcher, might help but his first three years in Seattle was plain bad, so I don't expect another 2009 campaign.
The Mariners don't need to bring a pitcher like him, when they have chance to bring in a pitcher with better strikeout rate and lower flyball rate. I'd be surprised and take it as a bad move if the Mariners decides to bring him back. I'd much rather have guys like Erik Bedard, Rich Harden, or Ben Sheets even with their injury risk and cost to get them.