The Detroit Tigers have strengthened their rotation, dealing LHP Luke French & LHP Mauricio Robles to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Jarrod Washburn.
Washburn’s stock increases slightly, due to an increased wins potential, but I would still be concerned of an impending regression in general. He’s 8-8 with a 2.64 ERA and 1.07 WHIP this season, numbers that he hasn’t come close to matching in some time. His career best WHIP is 1.17, which was back in 2002. Since 2003 he’s only had a year with an ERA below 4.00 once.
He’s posted his line thanks to a .249 BABIP, so sooner or later you have to think that his luck is going to change. I would certainly be skeptical about him moving forward, even in his new surroundings.
Neither of the two pitchers acquired by the Mariners were among Detroit’s Top 10 prospects prior to 2009, according to Baseball America. French has split time between Triple-A and the major leagues this season. At Triple-A he was 4-4 with a 2.98 ERA and 72 K over 81.2 innings. Since being recalled, he had gone 1-2 with a 3.38 ERA and 19 K over 29.1 innings, though with a 1.50 WHIP. However, considering his career minor league ERA of 3.88 and WHIP of 1.39, there’s not much reason to think he can contribute much pitching for the Mariners in 2009.
Robles is just 20-years old and split time this season between two levels of Single-A, going 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA and 111 K over 91.1 innings. Those strikeouts make him worth monitoring, but he’s at least a year or two away from making an impact.
What are your thoughts of this deal? Is there a clear winner? Do you trust Washburn more now?
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