Posted on: July 29, 2011 11:26 am
Edited on: July 29, 2011 11:27 am
The starting pitching market is weak, so when news spread that Erik Bedard would come off the disabled list to start for the Mariners Friday night, scouts around baseball started calling their travel agents.
The Yankees and Red Sox are both expected to have scouts at Safeco Field to see Bedard. The Tigers will be there, too.
Scouts who saw Bedard before he got hurt reported that he looked close to his old self. He's been a successful pitcher when healthy, winning 15 games for the Orioles in 2006 and compiling a 3.64 ERA in 159 career games.
And he hasn't started more than 15 games in a season since 2007 (although Friday's start will be his 16th for the Mariners this year).
The good news on Bedard is that he was on the DL because of a knee problem, rather than an arm problem. Then again, Jarrod Washburn only had a leg problem when the Tigers acquired him from the Mariners in 2009, and he was a disaster in Detroit.
The Washburn experience makes the Tigers hesitant on Bedard, but with their desperation to find a starter and with the weak market, they'll have a scout there, anyway.
It should be quite a weekend around the big leagues, with the non-waiver trade deadline arriving at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday.
On to 3 to Watch:
1. The Tigers will also have a scout watching Orioles at Yankees, Friday night (7:05 ET) at Yankee Stadium, with Jeremy Guthrie starting for the O's. Guthrie has long been on the Tigers' list of possible targets, but he has rarely pitched well with Tiger scouts in the house. The Orioles have also been asking a high price for Guthrie, but again, on this market, anything's possible. A.J. Burnett starts for the Yankees, who have also been out shopping for starting pitchers. The Yankees keep hoping that Burnett will look like a true No. 2 starter behind CC Sabathia, but they also keep watching Ubaldo Jimenez, who may be better.
2. Bedard is the main attraction in Rays at Mariners, Friday night (10:10 ET) at Safeco Field, but it's worth noting that Jeff Niemann starts for the Rays. The Rays have told teams that they won't move James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson or David Price, but Niemann and Wade Davis are much more available. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that the Rays offered Niemann to the Cardinals as part of a package for Colby Rasmus. The Tigers were offered Niemann, as well. They turned him down once, but they'll get another look when he faces Bedard.
3. Jimenez has always been the biggest name on this market. The Rockies claim that they will keep him if they don't get a great offer, but they would claim that no matter what, right? We'll see by Sunday, or maybe even by the time Jimenez is scheduled to start in Rockies at Padres, Saturday night (8:35 ET) at Petco Park. Aaron Harang, the scheduled starter for San Diego, is also available, and has been a possibility for the Tigers, Indians and others.
Posted on: August 1, 2010 9:23 pm
Cliff Lee lost his first start for the Rangers. Dan Haren not only lost his Angels debut, but he was knocked out of the box by a line drive.
Roy Oswalt lost his first Phillies start.
Yeah, it's great to trade for a starting pitcher, isn't it?
You make the deal with hopes that it will go the way it did for Lee last year, when he won his first five starts for the Phillies, then took them all the way to the World Series. You remember that CC Sabathia went 11-2 down the stretch with the 2008 Brewers, and changed the story of a franchise by taking them to the playoffs.
You remember Doyle Alexander (9-0) with the 1987 Tigers. You don't remember Jarrod Washburn (1-3) with the 2009 Tigers.
A starting pitcher traded at midseason doesn't get that many chances to affect the pennant race. Lee made just 12 regular-season starts for the Phillies last year; even Sabathia, who was dealt before the All-Star break and famously pitched on three days' rest down the stretch in September, started only 17 regular-season games for the Brewers.
The best deals make a difference, but with so few starts, each one is precious.
Oswalt makes his second Phils start this Wednesday in Florida. Haren makes his third Angels start Wednesday in Baltimore. Lee, who lost to the Angels in Anaheim on Sunday, will face the A's this weekend in Oakland.
Meanwhile, three other teams show off new starters this week, as you'll see in 3 to watch:
1. The Cardinals no doubt would have rather had Oswalt, but the guy they got was Jake Westbrook, who has come back well from Tommy John surgery. Westbrook's first start will come in Astros at Cardinals, Monday night (8:15 ET) at Busch Stadium . Westbrook is a career American Leaguer. He was 6-7 with a 3.56 ERA in 27 interleague games against National League teams. His opponent Monday is Brett Myers, the guy a lot of teams would have liked to have traded for; the Astros instead signed him to a contract extension.
2. The Dodgers were seven games out of first place at the deadline, and 4 1/2 games behind in the wild-card race. But the Dodgers obviously still believe they can win, as they picked up four players in the last week, including starter Ted Lilly, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Lilly gets a tough assignment in his debut with his new team, facing Mat Latos in Padres at Dodgers, Tuesday night (10:10 ET) at Dodger Stadium .
3. Edwin Jackson keeps moving from team to team, impressing everyone with his stuff and his makeup, but never making enough of an impact that anyone decides he's indispensible. Will that change with the White Sox, his fifth team in an eight-year career? We'll find out, beginning with White Sox at Tigers, Wednesday night (7:05 ET) at Comerica Park . One interesting note: Jackson lost his final two starts for the Tigers, both against the White Sox last September. One reason he did, according to a source, is that he was tipping his pitches then and the White Sox had picked it up. Jackson is an interesting deadline pickup, anyway, because his career ERA after the All-Star break is 5.09, more than half a run worse than his pre-break ERA of 4.47.
Posted on: July 31, 2009 11:32 am
Edited on: July 31, 2009 12:51 pm
The Tigers gave their rotation a significant upgrade by adding left-hander Jarrod Washburn from the Mariners today.
Now the question is whether the Tigers will be able to add a hitter, too. According to sources, the team continues to be active in trade talks, looking to improve a lineup that has struggled for much of the season.
In exchange for Washburn, the Tigers sent left-hander Luke French and minor league pitcher Mauricio Robles to the Mariners.
"This is not a blockbuster, but I think it's a great deal," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I think it's going to be good for both teams. I've been telling people how much I like French, and obviously somebody else liked him, too. I've got to give Dave Dombrowski a lot of credit for pulling this off, him and [Mariners general manager] Jack Zduriencik both."
Washburn adds to what was already a strong Tigers rotation, with Justin Verlander and Edwin Jackson, and should give the Tigers a much better chance of holding onto their lead in the American League Central. The Tigers now have three of the top seven pitchers in the AL ERA race, with Jackson second at 2.59, Washburn third at 2.64 and Verlander seventh at 3.16.
Washburn will make his Tigers debut Tuesday night against the Orioles.
The Tigers have struggled scoring runs, but with Carlos Guillen coming off the disabled list, and with continuing questions about the back end of their rotation, club officials decided to make a starting pitcher a priority. Washburn, eligible for free agency at the end of this season, was an obvious target.
"He's pitching the best he has pitched in 6-7 years," said a scout from another team who saw Washburn this week. "The Tigers did well to get him."
The Yankees also showed interest in Washburn. In conversations with other teams, though, Yanks general manager Brian Cashman has been very reluctant to part with anyone on his major-league roster.
French has started five games for the Tigers this year. Including two relief appearances, he is 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA. Robles is a Class A pitcher. Neither was ranked by Baseball America among the Tigers' top 10 prospects last winter.
The 34-year-old Washburn has blossomed this year under the tutelage of Mariners pitching coach Rick Adair (a former Tiger pitching coach). Earlier this season, Adair called Washburn "the best veteran I've ever been around. The ultimate team player."
Posted on: July 24, 2009 10:08 am
Edited on: July 24, 2009 3:47 pm
Not all the Phillies' attention has been focused on Roy Halladay.
Philadelphia had a scout in Detroit Thursday watching Jarrod Washburn, who allowed just two hits in seven shutout innings against the Tigers. Washburn lowered his ERA to 2.71, actually moving ahead of Halladay on the list of American League leaders. Washburn, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, is 4-1 with a 1.47 ERA in five starts this month, and the Phillies have had a scout watch at least his last two starts.
"He was as good as he's been in four or five years," said another scout who watched Washburn. "He's never used the sinker the way he's using it now."
The Mariners have yet to say they're willing to trade Washburn, but with the Angels heating up in the AL West, Seattle's longshot playoff hopes could be slipping away. Even with two wins in three games in Detroit, the Mariners fell to 5 1/2 games behind the Angels.
The Phillies have long been considered the most likely landing spot for Halladay, and he's obviously a much bigger prize than Washburn. But Philadelphia has continued to explore other options, including Cleveland's Cliff Lee and Erik Bedard, Washburn's Seattle teammate.
Posted on: July 23, 2008 4:02 pm
Edited on: July 23, 2008 7:26 pm
The Phillies, who had been among the more aggressive teams pursuing Colorado closer Brian Fuentes, have shifted their attention to Pittsburgh left-hander John Grabow and Baltimore lefty George Sherrill, according to sources.
Phillies special assistant Charley Kerfeld has been in Houston watching the Pirates, and the Phillies had three different scouts in to watch the Orioles during their current homestand. While the Phillies have also shown interest in Pittsburgh outfielder Xavier Nady, a deal for Grabow is considered a much stronger possibility.
As for Fuentes, there's still some question about whether the Rockies will trade him. Even if they do, the Phillies now consider him too expensive in terms of the players they would have to give up.
The Orioles seem increasingly likely to trade Sherrill. The Baltimore Sun reported that both St. Louis and Milwaukee have shown interest, but the Angels might have a better chance to get him by offering shortstop Erick Aybar. As one scout who has followed the Orioles said: "Baltimore is dying for a shortstop, and Aybar could be a regular for them."
Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail has told people that his phone has been ringing off the hook since Sherrill pitched so well in the All-Star Game last week.
"That's who he needs to pitch with, because he needs runs," the scout said. "He's another Bill Bavasi mistake. If the Mariners can get rid of Washburn, they should. If they get rid of him, that would help whoever gets that (Seattle GM) job next year."
The Mets know they have little chance of winning without closer Billy Wagner, and they also know there's no way they have enough chips to trade for someone who could successfully replace Wagner if he can't pitch. That's why they still list a corner outfielder, preferably one who bats right-handed, as their primary need, with relief help and even another starting pitcher behind that.
The Mets have talked about Nady and also Jason Bay, but it's doubtful they have enough to get either one from the Pirates. It might be more realistic to think that they could get Casey Blake from Cleveland, or Austin Kearns from Washington. Seattle's Raul Ibanez has also been discussed, even though he bats left-handed.
Tags: Andy MacPhail, Angels, Austin Kearns, Bill Bavasi, Billy Wagner, Brewers, Brian Fuentes, Cardinals, Casey Blake, Charley Kerfeld, Erick Aybar, George Sherrill, Indians, Jarrod Washburn, Jason Bay, John Grabow, Mariners, Mariners, Mets, Nationals, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, Pirates, Raul Ibanez, Rockies, Xavier NAdy, Yankees
Posted on: June 16, 2008 7:51 pm
The Mariners chose Bill Bavasi over Al Avila in 2003, and less than five years later, they're again looking for a new general manager.
Maybe this time they should hire Avila, who as Dave Dombrowski's assistant has helped revive the Tigers.
Dombrowski and Avila overhauled the Tigers when they took over, and the same type of overhaul is needed now in Seattle. There isn't a quick fix. Listen to what M's pitcher Jarrod Washburn told reporters Sunday: "There's no sign of turning it around. We're not good."
The thing is, the Mariners were in need of an overhaul in 2003, too, and they didn't get one. They were an aging team, and yet they kept trying to convince themselves they were a move away. That's how you end up with a $117 million payroll and the worst record in baseball.
It's strange to look back at the Mariners-Orioles trade from the winter, the one that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle. Now the M's are a mess, and could well trade Bedard. Meanwhile, the Orioles -- who finally themselves realized an overhaul was in order -- are respectable at 34-34.
I'm in Philadelphia tonight, and the Phillies honored Orioles third-base coach Juan Samuel by inducting him into their Wall of Fame. Samuel said the thing about the young Orioles is that "they think they can win, and they talk about winning." He also said that they've turned things around because there's been a focus on playing the game right, starting with manager Dave Trembley, and the players have bought into it.
Why have they bought into it?
"Because they see the results," Samuel said.
They see results in Seattle, too -- negative results.