Mariners Insider Blog

The Washburn Fiasco - Myth vs. Truth

Waiver periods drive fans insane, and can take writers right along with them if they're not cautious.

Over the last few days, there's been a lot of speculation - some of it reported as fact - that the Seattle Mariners turned down this offer or that one from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Jarrod Washburn.

It happens every August, when teams put players on waivers and the press, the internet and talk radio begin guessing.

Last year, for instance, it was widely reported the Mariners had put Richie Sexson on wavers - true - but had pulled him back when other teams claimed him.

Wrong. No one made a waiver claim on Sexson last year.

This week, lots of Mariners were on waivers, and more than a few were claimed. Washburn was, indeed, claimed by the Twins.

And Minnesota offered Seattle pitcher Boof Bonser ....

Or not.

People from both teams, a bit stunned by the internet stories, insist Bonser's name never came up.

One name did - the Twins initially mentioned trading pitcher Nick Blackburn if the Mariners were willing to eat some of Washburn's salary next season.

Before the Mariners responded, the Twins withdrew that offer.

Did the Mariners demand too much? They asked for a player back, yes. They were willing to eat some of Washburn's salary, yes.

General manager Lee Pelekoudas, however, has stayed true to what he said before the trading deadline: The Mariners would not make a move unless it improved the team, now or down the line.

No salary dumps.

Why not move Washburn for nothing and use his salary next season - over $10 million - on someone else?

Because, the team believes, there's no guarantee Washburn's money would bring them closer to winning than keeping Washburn as a No. 4 or No. 5 starter next year.

If the Mariners cannot get a piece of the puzzle for Washburn, they think they're better off keeping him.

That means Washburn almost certainly will finish he season as a Mariner.