Word just in that left-hander Luke French, acquired from the Tigers earlier today, is en route to his new team and will arrive about an hour before the Mariners play the Rangers in the second game of the four-game series. We’ll let you know when and where he’ll be inserted into the rotation.
Meanwhile, Jarrod Washburn will soon be on his way to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, where he will pack his bags, say goodbye to his former teammates, chat with the media and begin the next chapter of his career.
Wash is now a Tiger, having been dealt to Detroit this morning for two left-handed pitchers. One of them is the 23-year-old French. The other, 20-year-old Mauricio Robles, will join a Minor League team.
The deal comes just two days after the Mariners acquired veteran big-league shortstop Jack Wilson from the Pirates for three Minor League pitchers. Today’s deal adds two arms to the system, which needs good arms — especially starters.
It probably took more than one rocky series against the Indians — a three-game sweep — for the organization to decide which direction to take heading into the non-waiver deadline, but that had to be a key factor, although the Wilson deal suggested otherwise.
At the time, it appeared that the Mariners were becoming “buyers”, but today’s deal surely indicates that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik hit the “sell” button. Actually, he probably is neither a buyer or seller. His mantra is “improving” and he seems to be building for the future. In reality, even with third baseman Adrian Beltre on the verge of returning to the lineup, catching either the Angels in the AL West or getting involved in the Wild Card race seem unlikely.
It will take a couple of years, or more, to determine just how good of a deal this is there is no guarantee that Washburn would not return to the Mariners next season. He becomes eligible for free agency at the end of the season. That being said, he is having the kind of season that any free agent-to be could cash in bigt-time and Zduriencik might decide to spend more money on hitting than pitching.
The off-season will surely be interesting.
Meanwhile, I am heading downstairs to chat with Washburn and get some of his former teammates’ take on the deal.
— Jim Street