Wanting Washburn


The Yankees didn’t acquire a back-end starter like we expected when today’s non-waiver trade deadline came and went, but it wasn’t because of lack of effort. They’ve been connected to Brian Bannister of the Royals and more notably Jarrod Washburn of the Mariners, who ended up in MoTown this morning. While Seattle ultimately received a fringy starter (Luke French) and an okay prospect (Mauricio Robles), they were asking for much more than that initially.

Via Twitter, Joel Sherman notes that the Mariners asked the Yankees for an “Austin Jackson-level player” for Washburn, while the Brewers were told it would take Alcides Escobar, Mat Gamel, or Manny Parra, arguably their three best young players (non-Yovani Gallardo division). The Yanks balked at the Jackson price, submitted a list of players they were willing to give up, but never heard back from Seattle. I’m curious how deals like this evolve. I can understand asking for top prospects on the first pass, but how does a player end up with a third team for a package of nothing special while the two teams that were very interested end up empty handed? It’s just … odd.

Categories : Asides


  1. Dela G says:


    i wish we could’ve gotten a 5th starter so joba can get some innings rest

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      Why is everyone assuming that no more trades will happen? Cashman even said he thinks MORE deals will happen AFTER the deadline. Personally as long as the Yanks get a starter that provides an upgrade over Mitre before when it isn’t allowed to have players in the playoffs.

  2. nathan says:

    Maybe some GMs just dont like dealing with certain organisations… its clear many of these GMs have a spite for NYY… sometimes i feel Cashman is always at a disadvantage…

    • Zach says:

      that may be true for AL East teams, or the Mets, other than that I dont buy it

    • Pasqua says:

      No bias. Cashman has fleeced teams over the last few years. Every year, there seems to be a trade he makes that leaves me saying, “That’s all he gave up?” I would cite the Abreu / Lidle deal for starters.

  3. DCR says:

    I applaud them for not overpaying but at the same time I don’t know what they are going to do. Sergio Mitre is not good. He cannot be expected to play a crucial role on this team.

  4. The Scout says:

    “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” For all we know, Seattle may simply have preferred the choices that Detroit presented to those offered by the Yankees. We have not seen the list, of course.

    It makes little sense for teams to refuse to accept a better offer from the Yankees. How does that help some GM trying to improve his team? Do you think he will make his team’s fans happier if he tells them, “I could have more from the Yankees, but I decided to stick it to them instead”?

    The most reasonable explanation is the simplest: the other GM placed a higher value on the package offered by another team. We may disagree with the talent assessment — though we are not privy to much of the information and the scouting reports — but in the end, that’s what it comes down to. Conspiracy theories may comfort us, but that isn’t how baseball teams operate, with a few exceptions.

    • Don’t forget that both of the players they got are LHP’s. They may have placed an organizational premium on LHP’s after looking at their long-term team needs.

    • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:

      “The most reasonable explanation is the simplest: the other GM placed a higher value on the package offered by another team. We may disagree with the talent assessment — though we are not privy to much of the information and the scouting reports — but in the end, that’s what it comes down to. Conspiracy theories may comfort us, but that isn’t how baseball teams operate, with a few exceptions.”

      I don’t disagree with you, The Scout. Althought I will say that your approach is definitely how it should be. But I’ve been in too many situations in my life in which people in power in high-profile positions have acted petty and actually done something out of spite that was against their best interests.

      • The Scout says:

        Sure, and I noted that there are certainly exceptions (see Arizona after the Yankees signed David Wells). But I’ve noticed a certain percentage of readers on this and other sites who routinely conclude that the Yankee offer was superior and therefore only venal, anti-Yankee motives can explain why the other team got the player we wanted.

        • I Remember Celerino Sanchez says:


          I go back and forth, in a way. I do think some teams try and exact a premium from the Yanks, and all things being equal, would prefer to go elsewhere.

          But I do think most GMs just want the best value they can get. Luke French pitched well against the Yanks. Maybe the M’s think he’ll contribute sooner than any of our AAA or AA pitchers.

  5. Possible options:

    1) They liked the Tigers prospects better than we did, and thought that French was equivalent to AJax or Escobar/Gamel/Parra

    2) They started with a higher package from Detroit (like, say, maybe Clete Thomas and Robles) and negotiated their way down from that but liked the other secondary prospect (Robles) more than anything offered by us or Milwaukee, and thus never bothered asking for counteroffers

    3) They didn’t want to trade Washburn to certain places (like us), fearful that either they’d take a local PR hit by selling off a good piece to the “Evil Empire”

    4) They wanted to keep Washburn away from certain places (like us) who would possibly sell him on a contract extension and were more confident that the Tigers wouldn’t resign him, since they intend to sign him back during the offseason

    5) Washburn himself expressed a desire to either go to Detroit (or not go to NYC or Milwaukee) and they were appeasing his wishes to keep him happy so that he’d resign with them in the winter with no animosity

    6) They still feel like they can contend for a title this year and were steering him to a certain competitor because they thought the Tigers being stronger would cinch a division for them that they were already likely to win, but would make the other AL Central competitors weaker and thus, less formidable competition for the wildcard (that’s my crazy, grasping at straws one).

  6. kevin says:

    im sure we will be fine but I think washburn would of really helped us win the division

    • whozat says:

      Take a flyball pitcher whose value is entirely wrapped up in suppressing homers and take away his stellar OF defense and then move him from the 23rd most homer-happy park in the majors to the MOST homer-happy park in the majors. What do you have? An ENORMOUS disappointment.

      • DCR says:

        I agree with your sentiment that Washburn would have definitely been a different pitcher with us and normally I don’t subscribe to this stuff buttttt:

        Washburn is in a contract year and beasting in a contract year for the second straight time. Just sayin’.

        • whozat says:

          So, wait…between

          “He gives up lots of fly balls, and his HR/FB and BABiP have been suppressed by the park and his defense”


          “But it’s a contract year, and he’s been really good in Seattle”

          You’re going with the latter?

          • DCR says:

            No. I basically don’t think Washburn would come here and just blow up. I think he would probably sit around an ERA+ of 105.

  7. YankeeScribe says:

    What do you guys think of the Peavy deal? Is he worth it? Did the Chi-Sox give up too much?

    • whozat says:

      It’s basically the same as what they offered last time, right?

      The only difference is that Peavy’s been hurt, and it’s later in the season…I felt like they were getting a steal last time they traded for him, so maybe now I feel like it’s pretty fair?

      • Zach says:

        just look at his numbers away from Petco.
        He’s a great pitcher at home in the NL, good pitcher on the road in the NL. and isnt Chicago a hitter friendly park? dont know what kind of prospects they gave up but just dont think Peavy is going to do that well

  8. kevin says:

    who do u guys think will hit the waiver wire first?

  9. Rod says:

    Matsuzaka now on the 60 day DL.

  10. gio says:

    Interesting Top 50 Prospects rankings, with Montero (Jesus) coming it at #12 above the likes of LaPorta, Wade Davis, and Alonso. Also, AJax ranked 23, one spot ahaead of Dominic Brown, who was talked about in the Halladay to PHI rumors.

  11. dre says:

    you guys seem to forget that we need a good pitcher not just a #5

    if we make the playoffs who wwill be our 3rd starter?

    Joba? No he will have passed his innings limit.

    Petite? I love him but come on, hes not as reliable as he once was

    Hughes? even if we stretch him out, we can’t be sure how good he will be as a starter with so little time to prepare before the playoffs.

    Mitre? yeah right..

    boys and girls we have a bigger problem than we realize.

    • gio says:

      Pettite will be the number 3. He is better tahn virtually anyone we can get on waivers. And Hughes, don’t forget, took care of business in the ’07 series against Cleveland, single-handedly winning the last game the Yankees have won in the postseason.

    • Zach says:

      look at league rosters of other #3 starters that Andy would match up with

    • GG says:

      I’ve been under the same school of thought, but we aint gettin anyone too special going forward, so it looks like thats whats gonna have to do

    • AndrewYF says:

      Why is everyone so terrified of entering the postseason with Pettitte as the third starter? The 1st and 2nd starters are far more important than who the third guy is.

    • whozat says:

      Go look at the starter performances when the Sox won the 2007 series. They were getting 5 decent innings out of Matsuzaka as their #3.

  12. crawdaddie says:

    If you think the Yankees won’t start Joba in the playoffs due to an innings limit then you don’t understand the mantra the Yankees operated under.

    • dkidd says:

      i thought this two months ago, now i think he’s in the bullpen

    • That’s an oversimplification. The Yankees have two contradictory mantras that they live by:

      1) Win now.
      2) Win later also.

      They have shown, at every turn, that they value their young pitchers and will not expose them to unnecessary risk. If they feel Joba throwing around 180 IP this season is unnecessary risk (which he’d do if he keeps starting), they’ll do something about it.

  13. dkidd says:

    is there an eta for ian kennedy?

  14. Billy says:

    washburn probably wouldve struggled in the bandbox. i would like to see hughes to the rotation and joba to the pen when his innings are up. hughes would be able to start in the playoffs cuz his time in the pen kept his innings down, plus he had success in the 07 ALDS.

  15. Will says:

    August — CC, AJ, Andy, Joba, Mitre (Hughes gets stretched out)

    September — CC, AJ, Andy, Hughes, Mitre (Joba in the pen)

    October — CC, AJ, Andy, Hughes (Joba in the pen)

  16. Januz says:

    I have little doubt that teams want to rake the Yankees over the coals. But they still need a pitcher bad, and if they are stress the farm so much over this need, they better upgrade it. They key dates in my mind are August 17th (The last day to sign draftees) and August 24th (The end of a 10 game West Coast/Boston road trip) If they get 7 of these 10 signed (Heathcott, Murphy, Cotham, Lyons, Stoneburner, Mitchell, Thompson, McKenzie, and Aplin) and 7 out of 10 wins, they will be fine. If not, then things could get ugly.

    • Pasqua says:

      Brian Cashman is one of the most respected GM’s in baseball, according to virtually everything I’ve ever read or listened to about him. I truly believe that, if you look at the deals he has made over the years, there is very little to suggest that he has had to “pay” more than other teams. I have no doubt that, if anything, the GM’s that have good working relationships with their colleagues stand a better chance of making a fair deal — moreso than any organizational bias would hurt a team in trade talks.

      • Januz says:

        There is an obvious anti-Yankee bias in baseball and the media (Does anyone want to bet that if Joba would have thrown at Longoria, he would have been suspended?). It manafests itself in the fact that A-Rod was taken over the coals 100x more than Ortiz for steroids. Teams do all they can to hurt this organization (And have since John McGraw threw the Yankees out of the Polo Grounds over Babe Ruth). That is why teams demand outragicious prices for the likes of Washburn. The onlty way to overcome this is by investing in more home grown players (Such as Joba, Cano & Hughes), so the players that are needed will be immediatly available when needed. Which is why the draft is so important to me.

        • YanksFan says:

          I agree w/ the Papi/A-rod assessment for the media. But also don’t forget that a lot of the A-rod bashing are from Yankees fan themselves, which helps feed the media more.

  17. Tony says:

    Trade related:

    Hilarious that Mayo somehow thinks Jackson might be going for JERRY HAIRSTON JR after naming him the 23rd prospect in all of baseball this morning:


  18. Joseph M says:

    It’s too bad George isn’t George anymore these kind of results would not be tolerated. The Yanks needed to make a significant trade here and they didn’t get it done. If it took Joba, Jackson and Montero to get Halladay then make the deal.

    Cashman should be axed if this team doesn’t bring home a championship.

    • steve (different one) says:

      this is stupid.

      i apologize if it was tongue-in-cheek.

      if not, it’s really stupid.

    • steve (different one) says:

      also, Cashman’s boss would not let him trade for Halladay b/c of the money.

      so, in no way will Cashman be punished for not trading for Halladay.

      ps. your post was stupid.

      • Joseph M says:

        And you know this how? What did he do call you. In two years the Yankees will have a 42 year old ace reliever a 37 year old shortstop a 41 year old catcher. The time is now. A few months ago I got hell for saying on this board Wong wouldn’t win 80 games in his career, I said the same thing the other day, not a word.

        A top shelf GM has to know when to hold and when to fold. The Yanks are are headed into some major rebuilding years where no one will be talking about championships. Stop burying your head in the sand the team needs to get it done now. CC has been subpar all year, go game by game if you don’t believe me, Andy is inconsistent Joba is approaching an inning limit and we have no real 5th starter. We needed starting pitching and got a 33 year old utility infielder while Theo made a big move.

        • bonestock94 says:

          The Yankees have money coming off the books to sign a SS or reliever in the next few years. They also have some pitching prospects. Between Montero and Cervelli I think the Yanks are covered on the catching front. The Yankees got a badly needed utility. Theo had major holes in his offense and got a deal. The Yankees have Hughes in their pen and guys in triple A that can probably fill his set-up/reliever role.

          I much prefer this route than giving up prospects for old guys, everyone here would be going nuts if they gave up top tier prospects for Washburn. I firmly believe developing the farm is the way to win rings.

        • steve (different one) says:

          Montero, Joba, and Jackson for Halladay is stupid.


          everything else you said is just noise.

  19. Joseph M says:

    Let’s hope your right, I would have made the trade, I think George would have ordered it done, it would have given the team the best shot at a championship in the next two years. Championships are hard to win, during the George era the team has been by far the most successful and they have won 6. Six, in 36 years. I think they could have won it this year with the addition of one more solid starter that could go deep into games, now they don’t have that and I believe their chances to win the whole thing this year is gone with it. We’ll see, let’s hope that noise your talking about isn’t taps for an opportunity lost.

  20. RustyJohn says:

    1) The Mariners needed someone to fill a rotation spot immediately that was cost contained and under team control for a while. Outside of King Felix, their only other starters after Washburn were Ryan Roland-Smith, Olson, Jason Vargas and Ian Snell. Bedard is on the DL, Silva is on the DL, Morrow is in AAA. They got back the equivalent of Washburn- a fly ball lefty that will put up good numbers with that outfield defense behind them and a guy who, although in A ball, started for the Venezuelan national team. What starter could the Yankees offer that was at or near MLB potential? Hughes? They weren’t going to do that.

    2) They weren’t going to re-sign Washburn or offer arbitration. He’d make 12-14 million a year at arbitration and Boras is his agent- have fun negotiating a contract extension before the deadline with him

    3) Washburn is from Wisconsin originally so they may have done him a favor by trading him to a team closer to his family.

    4) Bedard is still available- you can have him if he makes his way through waivers. I’m sure the Mariners would take a bag of balls and a Derek Jeter autographed jersey.

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