CBS Sportsline is reporting that the Mariners are close to a deal with Jarrod Washburn. The deal is initially thought to be for 4 years around $38 million dollars.
The Mariners were committed to adding pitching to this year’s team. Evidently, they were committed enough to pay large money for an average pitcher.
Washburn was 8-8 last season with an impressive ERA of 3.20. Positively, his ERA was far better away from Anaheim Stadium then it was at home. In addition, he has made 25 starts for 5 straight seasons and been over 175 innings in 4 of the last 5 seasons. This team needs innings eaters and he will do that.
The area of concern is that in the statistical world Washburn had what is referred to as a very lucky season. Considering the things a pitcher controlled his ERA should have been a good deal higher and these numbers are usually a very good indicator of future ERA.
In addition, Washburn is fly ball pitcher. The Mariners must believe that Safeco Field will help his numbers.
Also at 31 years old, the Mariners are basing the deal on his 32,33,34 and 35 year old seasons. It is fair to assume that at some point he breaks down.
At this moment the starting rotation is Washburn, Felix Hernandez, Jamie Moyer, Joel Piniero and a question mark.
Look for the Mariners to trade Gil Meche. They have not been able to get anything other then minor leaguers for Meche. Franklin is also on the market.
Overall, I can’t say I am greatly disturbed, but I don’t like giving an average pitcher who is 31 years old nearly 10 million a year for 4 seasons.
The statement is the Mariners are committed to getting better. This was the vechile that was available to make this pitching staff better and they acted. Those that have complained that they are not committed to winning no longer have an argument. Those that want to question the baseball acumen this is open territory.