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Washburn Contract Information

Four years and $37.5m - slightly worse than what we feared.

If Hardball Dollars is to believed, this pushes the Mariners' 2006 payroll just north of $80m, with arbitration still to go. So, yeah, that's about all the spending the team is going to do this offseason.

God knows I've talked about Washburn enough over the past few days, so there's no need to review everything a third or fourth time. Back in 2001 or 2002, he was an interesting pitcher, capable of touching the mid-90s and missing a few bats, but that guy is history, replaced by someone who's put up similar peripherals for three consecutive mediocre seasons and taken advantage of a lot of good fortune in posting a misleadingly low ERA in his contract year. On top of that, he's 31 years old, and hasn't exactly been the picture of perfect health. Barring injury, he should be an okay bet to finish 2006 somewhere around 4.00, but he's only going to get worse as time goes by.

Four years at nearly eight figures a pop. Even if Washburn remains moderately effective for a few seasons before burning out, this is practically an instant albatross. You shouldn't need too many guesses to figure out what'll be #1 on the next Mariner GM's to-do list.