A list of a few currently or once-available Mariners, and returns for them with which I would be happy, based on educated guesswork and absolutely zero inside information:
Return: 2009 salary relief, #11-15 organizational prospect
Why: This team comes out ahead if it's simply able to dump Washburn and his contract on someone else without getting anything significant back. The fact that there's even talk about getting some talent in return just blows my mind. If Pelekoudas is able to turn Washburn into something for which we might have use down the road, I'll be ecstatic. All I really want is for him to go away.
Return: #6-10 organizational prospect
Why: For teams that don't feel like ponying up for Ron Mahay, Rhodes provides a neat, experienced little alternative who's having a strong rebound year as a strict LOOGY. Guys like this usually tend to bring back something moderately interesting, although I'd temper my expectations if I were you. Think toolsy project or hard-throwing farmhand with an inconsistent breaking ball.
Return: One #3-6 and one #6-10 organizational prospect
Why: It might seem like a lot for a guy who isn't good, but as Dave explained a few days ago, the baseline we're working with here is two pretty high draft picks. That's what we'd get for Ibanez in the event that he survives the year, gets offered arbitration, and turns it down to sign somewhere else. So in order to move him now, Pelekoudas needs to make sure he's getting a comparable package. There's no reason to sell for the sake of selling, here. If nobody offers anything good, there's no need to force it, because chances are there'll be a better payoff down the road.
No, I don't think Ibanez would be much of a risk to accept arbitration.
Why: Not going to go anywhere. Teams won't want to trade much of anything for a guy with so many health problems, and the Mariners won't want to just give him away for no reason at his lowest possible value. There were offers a few weeks back with names that you'd recognize, but nothing great. We're better off keeping him.
Return: Sarin gas
Why: If I had to experience one of the two, I would rather experience sarin gas.
Return: Two #1-5 organizational prospects OR one young, regular roster player and one #3-6 organizational prospect
Why: Really good players have high price tags. Nobody's going to give us what we'd deserve in exchange for Adrian Beltre, and that's fine, because if we trade Adrian Beltre, we're essentially writing off any hopes of competing in 2009. Here's how a phone call between the Mariners and Twins ought to go:
Smith: Hey Lee, it's Bill. How's it going?
Pelekoudas: Been better, been worse. How are you?
Smith: I'd be a lot better if I could talk with you about Adrian Beltre.
Pekeloudas: Oh yeah, sure thing.
Smith: So what're you looking for?
Pelekoudas: How about that Young kid?
Smith: Which young kid?
Pelekoudas: Is that his name?
Smith: You're joking.
Pelekoudas: Yeah, that Young kid. And that other young kid. Gomez?
Smith: You're pulling my leg.
Pelekoudas: How's Beltre for Young and Gomez sound?
Smith: If you-
Pelekoudas: Too much?
Smith: A little.
Pelekoudas: How about Young and Revere?
Smith: Well that hardly-
Pelekoudas: Gomez and Revere?
Pelekoudas: Gomez, Blackburn and Revere.
Smith: I can't for the life of me figure out why no one's made you GM before.
Pelekoudas: Livan Hernandez
Smith: Mm hmm?
Smith: Look, do you want to try and make a deal or not? I don't have all the time in the world.
Pelekoudas: Joe Mauer.
Return: One #1-3 organizational prospect and one #6-10 organizational prospect
Why: The Mariners are probably going to field a few calls over the coming week as teams look to find out if they can land JJ at a low price for the stretch run. There's no sense in helping them out.
Not included, much to my chagrin: Yuniesky Betancourt. As much as I'd love to see him go away, I just haven't seen or heard any indication that the team is giving it serious thought. Lose weight, you slob.