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In The Land Of The Binoculate, The One-Eyed Man Looks Like A Fucking Moron

It'd been a while since the last time this organization made me legitimately mad. If anything, until today they'd been taking strides forward, having ditched Bavasi, traded Rhodes, made room for Reed, and hung onto Ibanez. They weren't behaving themselves like the smartest organization in the world, but they didn't act incompetent, either, which was a step up, and enough to earn them the benefit of the doubt when they held onto Washburn through the July deadline. The way I figured, yeah, it would've been nice to unload him, but there wasn't much harm in calling anyone's bluff. If the Mariners just wanted to give him away, they could do it in August.

Well August is here. And so is Jarrod Washburn. For good. Because apparently myself and the Mariners don't see eye to eye.

The Twins were willing to take on Washburn’s contract, and Seattle could have dumped it on them. But the Mariners also wanted the Twins to throw in one of their current starters.

The Mets are interested, too, and the Mariners want Niese and/or Martinez or another top prospect, and New York doesn't have that many of those.

The Rockies also have expressed limited interest in Washburn, but they are in a little shock that the Mariners would ask for center fielder Dexter Fowler (.337, nine homers at Double-A) and right-handed reliever Casey Weathers (2-1, 3.15 ERA in 41 games of Double-A relief) in exchange.

The Jarrod Washburn talks between the Mariners and Yankees hit a standstill late Sunday afternoon. The Mariners want a solid prospect in return from the Yankees, in addition to having the Yankees assume the bulk of the $14 million owed to Washburn for the rest of this season and next.

It's no wonder we couldn't get rid of Jarrod Washburn. The only team that thinks he has any real value was the team trying to trade him.

Look at those four blockquotes and then try to convince me that Lee Pelekoudas and the rest of these guys aren't complete and utter idiots. Jarrod Washburn is not a good pitcher. Jarrod Washburn is not even a decent pitcher. Jarrod Washburn is a below-average pitcher set to earn more than ten million dollars next season. More than ten million dollars for a guy for whom the organization already has at least one cheap, equally effective in-house replacement. But as it turns out, this team either doesn't know or doesn't care. Or both. God knows they're stupid enough for it to be both.

The Mariners had their chance to dump Washburn's contract on Minnesota today and wipe their hands clean. A chance to just give him away, no questions asked. A chance to give themselves ten million more dollars to spend this offseason on a team that badly needs fixing. And they passed on the chance, because Minnesota wouldn't trade one of its current starters in return.

Name tRA Age
Washburn 5.16 33
Baker 4.34 26
Blackburn 4.40 26
Liriano 5.24 24
Perkins 5.01 25
Slowey 3.94 24
Bonser 4.33 26

What kind of thought process even goes into making that request? How do people capable of being so unfathomably irrational and dense ever end up running a Major League Baseball team? There are 30 teams in Major League Baseball. Give each one, I dunno, ten guys who know their shit when it comes to player evaluation, and you should be talking about the ~300 smartest player evaluation minds in the world. The top 300. The cream of the crop. There's so much demand for these positions that in theory every team should be run by some of the brightest baseball minds on the planet. But we know that's not how it actually works, because one of those 30 teams tried to get value back for Jarrod Washburn. I can't believe it. I can't believe these people are in charge of the Mariners. It's a wonder they can even tie their shoes in the morning without accidentally setting themselves ablaze.

The Mariners are living alone in a market that doesn't exist. To them, Jarrod Washburn is a heck of a pitcher who'd be a boon to any rotation, but then this is an organization that can't evaluate pitching, and hasn't ever been able to evaluate pitching for as long as I've been a blogger. Things don't work the way they think they work anymore. It's not an accident that we outbid the competition for Carlos Silva. It's not an accident that we outbid the competition for Miguel Batista. And it's not an accident that we outbid the competition for Jarrod Washburn. Even a few years ago, when Washburn first became a free agent, the Angels laughed at his desire for a long-term contract. And since then the league has only gotten more intelligent. Every team but ours has come to realize that you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a #5 starter. The Cardinals grabbed Kyle Lohse for $4.25m/1yr on March 14th. The Nationals grabbed Odalis Perez on a minor league contract in the middle of February. The Padres landed Randy Wolf for $4.75m/1yr and traded filler for Cha Baek. And so on and so forth. Teams aren't paying the kind of price for mediocre starters that they used to anymore because teams have come to realize that they're lousy investments.

It's not that guys like Washburn are devoid of any value. They do serve a purpose. It's just that giving them eight figures is such a gross and unwarranted overpayment that you end up doing yourself far more harm than good.

Steve: This sandwich is delicious.
Bill: It cost you eighty dollars.
Steve: But it tastes good.
Bill: You paid eighty dollars for a sandwich.

For some reason the Twins generously granted the Mariners a glorious opportunity to at least partially undo one of their greatest recent mistakes, and they passed it up. In so doing, they only confirmed that, while Bavasi may be gone, his legacy remains, and that this is an organization that doesn't understand the first, most fundamental thing about building a baseball team. This was a gimme. This was some higher power saying "hey you guys have been through enough, here, let me give you a break." And the Mariners didn't care. They just didn't care. Were this a college exam, the exam consisted of one question, and the question was "Spell the word 'blue'," and the multiple choice answers were (A) blue, (B) green, (C) yellow, (D) black, and the Mariners wrote "6" on their Scantron. This was the easiest test you could imagine, and the Mariners failed.

They failed.

Listen, Mariners. I know you're reading this. Fuck you. Fuck each and every one of you who either executed or stood idly by while somebody else executed any of the countless unforgivable decisions this team has made at the Major League level over the past several years. You don't deserve us. You don't deserve people who for negligible return pour their blood, sweat and tears into following your organization and writing about it every God damn day of the year. And while I'm sure you probably think there's nothing you could possibly do to jilt your most loyal and hardcore of supporters, keep pushing it. Keep pushing it and see. Before long there won't be anyone left.