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Friday, July 31, 2009

Mariners Send Jarrod Washburn To Tigers For Two Pitchers

ESPN reports that the Mariners have sent Jarrod Washburn to the Tigers for rookie lefty starter Lucas French and minor league lefty Mauricio Robles.

On the surface, it looks like the fact that Jack Zduriencik got anything of value for one of Bill Bavasi's most egregious mistake contracts is impressive; the fact that he got a couple young lefties is even more impressive. French has a 1-2 record in five starts with a 3.38 ERA; he owns a 5.8 K/9 and a 1.73 K/BB ratio, which says he has a tendency to miss the plate a tad more than you'd like, but since he's only 23 — by far his most important attribute here — and he's pitching in the majors, you can forgive that. Robles was pitching in the Tigers' high-A Florida League Lakeland team after a promotion from West Michigan and the Midwest League earlier in the year. He's posting 10-to-11-ish K/9 rates pretty consistently, so he's someone with some interesting upside.

The reason the Tigers were probably willing to do this has a lot to do with Washburn's ridiculous 2.39 ERA this season. He's having an outstanding year, posting career figures in ERA, ERA+, WHIP, K/9, and K/BB; this package was the Tigers hoping to get some of that lightning in a bottle.

Lookout Landing:

Awesome awesome awesome awesome. French is a 23 year old average-looking ML lefty under club control for six more years and is basically what would happen if you went back in time and grabbed Washburn from 11 years ago. Robles is a 20 year old left handed A-baller and helps replace the three guys we gave up for Wilson and Snell. Amazing.

Updated update: Robles strikes out a lot of people. His swinging strikeout rate is 23%. 23%! Walks are too high but not a big deal. This looks like an absolute steal. Velo goes from 88-93, good curve, working on a changeup. If he gets the change working he's a starter in the bigs.

Dave Cameron at Fangraphs:
As a Mariner fan, this trade makes me want to jump up and down and hug someone. The M’s turned a 35-year-old lefty strike throwing flyballer who is due $3.5 million over the rest of the season and then becomes an expensive free agent into a 24-year-old lefty strike thrwoing flyballer who is due $0 over the rest of the year and won’t be a free agent until after 2015. And they got a 20-year-old lefty with huge strikeout numbers in A-ball to boot.
I concur. This is a great deal for the M's.

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