Waiver Update

August 15, 2008

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Street Reporter

Waiver Update

To add to yesterday's post, neither Ibanez nor Washburn was dealt after they were claimed on waivers. According to the Post-Intelligencer, the Twins put in claims on both, and their waiver number was higher for Jarrod, while the Tigers claim was highest for Ibanez.

The Twins were actually willing to swallow Jarrod's monster $10M+ salary for next year, but didn't want to also part with a major-league level pitcher, too. They also placed their claim, in part, to block the claim of the division-rival White Sox, so it's possible they didn't really want to work out a deal. But the Mariners should have, since the next steps are either to waive Washburn again, meaning that the claiming team merely has to eat his salary, or hang on to him and either try and trade him in the offseason, or simply eat his Bavasi-esque salary themselves next year. 

If they waive him again, of course, then anything they would have gotten from the Twins--even if it was a bag full of used jockstraps--would have been a bonus. Pelekoudas loses major points if this is the case, as getting something is better than nothing.

Hanging onto him is equally stupid, as the Ms have already admitted defeat in the releasing of Sexson and Vidro--why not throw in Washburn, too? The one argument for this would be that Washburn retains some value, albeit overpriced value, as a league-average innings-eater. He'll be blocking other young Ms arms, but (unlike Sexson or Vidro) putting him in the starting lineup isn't an insult to other major-league starters. 

Trading him this winter is also a possibility, but an extremely unlikely one. At this point in the season, with teams pressing towards the playoffs, they're willing to take a risk and overpay for someone like Washburn to be that last piece to push them over the top. During the less emotionally driven offseason, such a hasty move isn't going to happen. Teams will be looking to make a fresh start, and saddling themselves with an average pitcher getting paid well above average isn't going to be the way they want to begin 2009.

The rest of the season will tell the tale on this half of the Waiver Story for 2008. The other half is Raul Ibanez, who got interest from several teams, with Detroit winning out. Still not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, the Tigers could use some help in the outfield, where starter Marcus Thames is hurt, and newbies Matt Joyce and Ryan Raburn are sharing time in left.

But knowing that they're pretty much out of the playoff hunt meant Detroit wasn't desperate for Raul's services, and the fact that Seattle was dealing from a position of strength meant they couldn't press the issue too far. Seattle, after all, will still get compensatory draft picks if Raul leaves as a free agent, and if Detroit's offer didn't match that perceived value, they could (and did) stand pat.

Here, too, I'll wait before judging this non-move, but it certainly seems the wiser of the two. Even if Seattle re-signs Ibanez next year, it wouldn't be the worst move to reward this classy player's hard work, so long as they don't break the bank doing so.

And unless they re-hire Bill Bavasi as GM, that's not likely to happen.

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