Getting to the bottom of the Washburn story

Posted on January 8th, 2010 – 3:32 PM
By La Velle

I wrote a couple days ago that I would revisit the Jarrod Washburn story if needed. And it’s needed.

The Twins, indeed, made a one-year offer to Washburn for around $5 million that was rejected by Washburn’s agent, Scott Boras. The offer was believed to have been made about a week ago.

Someone with knowledge of the offer even said, “it’s been pretty much dead since then.”

So a tip of the hat CBSSportsline for getting it out there first.

I’m sure Boras is trying to get Washburn more than something in the $5 million range. But there’s always a chance that he’ll return to the Twins if those efforts fail.

It happened a year ago when Boras tried to get Joe Crede a sizeable base salary. The Twins stuck to their offer of $2.5 million, plus bonuses, and Crede eventually signed with the Twins.

What’s interesting is that the Twins took a shot at Washburn despite having four-fifths of their starting rotation figured out. Carl Pavano, Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey are locks for next season. Lefthander Brian Duensing looks promising. Lefthander Glen Perkins, who might have to mend some relationships within the organization, is still around and is talented.

And lefthander Francisco Liriano is pitching well in winter ball. He tossed six shutout innings on Thursday on one hit and one walk with eight strikeouts. According to Twins GM Bill Smith, Liriano has thrown 11 scoreless innings in his last two outings.

But indications are that the Twins don’t want a repeat of last season, when unproven and raw righthanders Anthony Swarzak and Jeff Manship were used because of injures and Liriano’s struggles.

It also would be easier for the Twins to deal a starter – the Twins have let teams know that Perkins is available this offseason – if they have a veteran like Washburn in the rotation.

Washburn fits the type of free agent they are seeking: Someone who’s willing to sign for one season. The Twins are very reluctant to offer free agents more than one year for sizeable money because of the impact Joe Mauer’s extension would have on the 2011 payroll.

Sorry it too me so long to grab onto the right grapevine….

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