So that disease from which we've all been suffering? The one that presents with nausea, irritability, panic attacks, and a loss of faith in the idea that humans are basically good? It's called Washburn Fever, and it turns out it's not contagious.
I did some checking today, and the Twins have lost their appetite for a Jarrod Washburn trade.
As one Twins source put it today, "They missed their chance."
So much for that. Not that there was ever any strong indication that this was very likely, but with the Twins out of the running (can there ever really be a "running" for Jarrod Washburn? Jarrod Washburn is like the thing under the third hat when the first two have prizes), we've lost what might've been our best bet to clear salary. At this point, I have to think that Zduriencik is spending the bulk of his time looking for a cheap hitter under team control, because I just don't see many appealing ways in which enough space can be made to sign a free agent.
Of note later in the linked article, by the way, is the statement that the Mariners consider Brandon Morrow untouchable. I personally hate that word - everybody has a price - but the more I've thought about it over the past few days, the more I've come to realize just how much I'd hate to lose him. Morrow missed 55 bats out of 503 pitches last year as a starter, for a 10.9% swinging strike rate. Here's a list of starting pitchers last year who came in at 10% or above (minimum 100 xOuts):
(Harden and Sabathia are listed twice because they were traded midseason.)
Those 26 pitchers had a (unweighted) mean tRA of 3.87, with only Anibal Sanchez, Carlos Villanueva, and Johnny Cueto coming in below average. And each of those three allowed an unsustainably high percentage of fly balls to leave the yard.
If you can miss a lot of bats, you're probably going to be a pretty good starting pitcher. And Brandon Morrow can miss a lot of bats. With five remaining years of team control and an absolutely electric repertoire, Morrow's a special player, and I don't let him go unless I know I'm getting big value in return. He's not the sort of arm you trade and forget.