Call this one a loan – Jarrod Washburn even said that he’s had such a good time in Seattle this year that he’d consider coming back as a free agent once the season was over. Seattle, which had acquired Jack Wilson and Ian Snell and looked like minor buyers a day ago, took a chance on a couple of Tiger cubs with potential.
Tigers Get: One of the better left handers and one with World Series experience (Angels, 2002). Washburn added a split fingered fastball this year and turned into one of the top starters in the AL – one reason that the Mariners were still in contention for at least a wild card spot if not an outside shot at the division title. The big difference in 2009? Fewer walks and fewer homers allowed…
Mariners Get: AAA pitcher Luke French, who hasn’t been intimidated by a short stint in the majors but really isn’t special. He doesn’t strike a ton of guys out and, while he showed improvement in 2009, hasn’t always been consistently hitting the strike zone. Right now, he looks like a long or middle reliever – and probably deserves a chance to do better. The other player, though, Mauricio Robles, could be interesting. An undrafted Venezuelan, Robles gets strikeouts and is working on his control. Two or three years from now, he might be a mid level starter – and if Washburn comes back anyway, the Mariners would easily win this deal. Washburn was sort of expendable with Ian Snell’s arrival – not that Snell has pitched this well – so the chance to get a long term prospect for a two month loan is not too bad.
Winner? If the Tigers win the pennant, they will feel like a winner, but I’ll go with Seattle.