“Jarrod Washburn is the epitome of a bad free-agent target.”
Aaron Gleeman, December 2, 2009
You may wonder why Aaron has been a bit quiet this week. I’m no good at keeping secrets, so I may as well just come out with it: Aaron is currently undergoing intense psychiatric counseling following multiple suicide attempts brought on by the Twins doing things like making offers to Jarrod Washburn instead of getting in on Adrian Beltre or a serviceable second baseman who may actually help them win the Central in 2010. But hey, if you have the opportunity to pay $7 million or so to a guy like Washburn, you simply can’t pass up that deal.
As Aaron noted last month, Washburn went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in eight starts following the trade to the Tigers,
allowing 35 runs in 43 innings before missing the final three weeks
with a knee injury that required offseason surgery. He’s a smoke and mirrors pitcher who benefited from a big ballpark and an outrageously good set of outfielders in Seattle the first part of last year. Without those things, he was utterly exposed.
The Tigers trading for him last year did not help them win the division. The Twins signing him this year, however, may allow Detroit to do just that.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.