Friday, August 15, 2008

The Mariners are teh stoopid

My initial reaction to the Twins claiming Jarrod Washburn off waivers, after WTF?, was that it had to be a defensive move to keep him away from the White Sox, who are desperate for pitching after Contreras’ Achilles heel asploded.

But that’s not the case, the Twins were apparently dead serious about getting Washburn and his $13mm salary through next season, offering up Boof Bonser on top of the 100% salary relief from the Mariners. Why the hell would they do that? The only thing dumber than offering that deal is to turn it down…thankfully, the Mariners are staking their claim to the worst-run team in all of sports. Don’t believe me? Here’s the USS Mariner reaction to the non-deal:

These people don’t deserve success. They deserve to be looking for new jobs.

Fire them all.

Of course the Twins homers on KFAN think Washburn will turn into Scott Kazmir since he’ll be pitching close to Wisconsin or that he can turn into a shut down 8th inning guy. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that Washburn would be anything better than a white, thinner, left-handed version of Livan Hernandez.

Washburn is a flyball pitcher (sub-37% GB rate) who doesn’t strike guys out (5 K/9), has more control problems than anyone else in the Twins rotation (over 2.5 BB/9 each of the last four seasons), has a 1.45 WHIP, and pitches in an extremely pitcher-friendly home park. As a LHP his HR rate (just over 1 per game) would probably increase by 25% without the expansive Safeco left field*. For the record, both Boof’s and Livan’s peripherals are superior to Washburn’s.

*(Slowey has better stuff, strikes 34% more batters, but has similar FB tendencies and serves up 1.27 HR/game)

Before considering Washburn’s $10mm contract for 2009, this deal is stupid. But it is sheer lunacy for a small-budget team with this young, cheap pitching depth to consider bringing in a slug like Washburn. Attempted moves like this, or going after Alan Embree instead of Chad Bradford or LaTroy Hawkins, do not make me feel great about the current decision-making process in the Twins front office.

There is one positive though, the team appears to be serious about improving the roster and are willing to spend money to do it. They just need to be smart about it.