“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 White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.