Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Jarrod Washburn!?

According to something called Scott Miller over at, the Twins have made an offer to Jarrod Washburn.  Here are the reasons Miller thinks the Twins think Washburn can help the team:

As for Washburn, 35, the Twins view him as a perfect fit in that he is left-handed, he’s got a reputation as being a good guy in the clubhouse, he’s pitched enough that he can help anchor a young staff and he’s an Upper Midwest native (he was born in Wisconsin and still lives in there in the off-season, in Webster).
As you can see, none of those reasons are “he is a good pitchers who can get people out and win games”.

I see no reason to sign Washburn if we already have Pavano.  Is Washburn really much of an upgrade over someone like Perkins/Duensing/Liriano (or Manship if you want to include right handers)? I say no.  Especially since the Twins seem reluctant to cut ties with failed free agent pitchers in a timely fashion (see: Hernandez, Livan, and Ortiz, Ramon).  Couldn’t you just see the Twins trotting Washburn and his 5.50 ERA out to the mound every fifth day until mid-July? I totally could.

Washburn was excellent for a few months in Seattle last year but he was a) playing in a massive park, and b) had one of the best outfield defenses EVER playing behind him.  Everyone claims his knee injury caused his 7+ ERA with the Tigers, but I think it was a combination of the knee and his inherent crappiness rising to the surface.

What do you think? Would Washburn help the team or are we better off filling in the last rotation spot internally?



9 Comments so far

  1. sirsean January 6th, 2010 8:48 am

    I don’t know if filling the spot internally is the best option, but I’m quite sure that Washburn would be worse.

    Unless this is a minor league deal, I think it’s a terrible idea.

  2. FunBobby January 6th, 2010 8:56 am

    I guess I should have said “better option”. Considering washburn will cost us roughly 10X more than 3 of the 4 options I listed.

    My other question: Why does everyone keep using “he lives in Wisconsin, which is near Minnesota” as a reason why he should play for the Twins? Sames goes for Robb Quinlan. And everyone says we should get rid of Perkins. But he is from here? How can we get rid of someone who is ONE OF US!? Seems like people use the “hometown” argument when they only have two crappy reasons and need a third.

  3. sirsean January 6th, 2010 9:01 am

    I agree about that. I don’t care that he lives in Wisconsin. That’s a reason he might want to play for the Twins … but what about the Brewers? They’re actually, you know, in Wisconsin.

    But the fact that he lives in Wisconsin in the offseason shouldn’t mean anything to the Twins unless:

    1. He were good enough of a player for us to want him in the first place
    2. We could use the fact that he lives nearby as some sort of negotiating chip to get ourselves a better deal than other clubs could get

    But #1 isn’t the case, and the Twins probably aren’t savvy enough for #2 (which is moot, because nobody else wants him anyway).

  4. rghrbek January 6th, 2010 11:34 am

    He’s crap. Another crappy attempt by the twins to get by on the cheap.

    Focus on 2nd/3rd base, unless you are targeting a real pitcher.

    We don’t need another fly ball pitcher, with our crappy outfield defense, especially at his price.

    Why do they always do this?

  5. sirsean January 6th, 2010 11:43 am

    Well, we’ve been harping for a while about the fact that the Twins seem to value players … differently.

    Homer prone fly ball pitchers who don’t strike people out? Well, around here we call that a sinker, and they pitch to contact and that’s the way we likes it.

    Slap hitting .300/.300/.300 guys who either hit a grounder or pop it up to the infielders? That’s the Twins Mold, and we’ll be damned if we’re going to criticize anyone who matches it — we have 150 of them in the minor leagues! If that kind of player ever gets valuable, we’ll be set!

    But yes. I’m guessing that’s why they always do this. They actually think Washburn is good.

  6. rosterman January 6th, 2010 11:51 am

    The Twins need a proven lefty in the rotation…maybe.

    Yes, he does push back Duensing or Liriano, but if that push comes to a shove, it’s just to the bullpen for awhile.

    He is definitely insurance if Slowey isn’t ready or if Blackburn pops. You can never have too many pitchers. The Twins have the luxury of 4 extra arms vying for that 5th starter or abck-of-the-bullpen spot, or AAA ball and ready for a call-up if something happens…And Washburn is just a (hopefully) low-end signing who can be durable and get folks out if the Twins can score 5+ runs a game.

    Duensing, Manship, Slowey, Swarzak…all have options and can go to AAA. Boof didn’t, which was a decent move by the Twins, in a way…they had to keep him or lose him, and this way they got a player for him in the least and didn’t have to negotiate a contract.

    Money is the key (no incentives…you want to get rid of the guy at some point, probably).

  7. sirsean January 6th, 2010 11:56 am

    But you’re not going to score 5+ runs a game with only 2 infielders.

    Given that the Twins already have good (not quite great, but good) depth in the rotation, they should be spending more time on the 2B/3B market.

    Felipe Lopez is still available, and probably won’t be that expensive given the contracts that have been signed already. He’d help us out a whole lot more than having the option of trotting Washburn out there if 4 of our younger, cheaper, and more talented options all flame out.

  8. rghrbek January 6th, 2010 1:42 pm

    Agreed, Lopez would be a boon for us with his high On base % and quality fielding.

    In the two hole, he would really open some things up, for the middle of the lineup.

    Think of our runs scored output if we had a guy in the lineup like that, as apposed to the black hole we normally throw out there.

    As you pointed out though, we prefer the slap hitting, .300% on base guys, who really get after it.

  9. FunBobby January 6th, 2010 4:19 pm

    Let’s hope this whole thing blows over. This would be a really bad move by Smith and I don’t want to think about it anymore.

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