Hey, Seattle Mariners, Will You Sign Jarrod Washburn Already?

T.Contributor IJanuary 31, 2010

NEW YORK - JULY 01:  Jarrod Washburn #56 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the New York Yankees on July 1, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images


Right now, the Seattle Mariners starting rotation for the 2010 season looks like this:

  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Cliff Lee
  3. Ryan Rowland-Smith
  4. Ian Snell
  5. A toss up between Doug Fister/Luke French/Jason Vargas
This a decent starting five, with of course the top heavy one-two punch of King Felix and Cliff Lee.
However, the bottom three is somewhat lacking.
Rowland-Smith is a southpaw with a career 3.62 ERA, but with only 11 wins so far in his career he might not be ready to be the number three pitcher on a team hoping to make the playoffs.
Ian Snell is a talented pitcher, but has been on the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates his whole career until a mid-season trade last season and hasn't proven he can be a successful pitcher on a winning ball club.
Don't get me wrong, Snell and Rowland-Smith are professional pitchers and are both fully capable of a 10-15 win season.
However, I would like to see them as the fourth and fifth starters, rather than the third and fourth
The Mariners need to bring in another starter in order to complete their rotation and solidify it as one of the best in baseball.
One of the perfect guys to fill the rotation with this off season was Ben Sheets.
A four-time All-Star who was bidding for a comeback year after a season taken off for injury, Sheets seemed like the perfect low-risk fifth pitcher for the Mariners.
It seemed likely as Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik was familiar with Sheets from his time with the Milwaukee Brewers and not many teams showed interest in Sheets during most of the off-season.
Imagine if Sheets returned to his former All-Star self in 2010 and the Mariners boasted a top three of Hernandez, Lee and Sheets.
It would be highly unlikely for a team to beat Seattle in a playoffs series with those three at their disposal.
However, for whatever reason Seattle did not sign Sheets and their division rival, the Oakland Athletics, did instead.
Now, the question is who should the Mariners sign or trade for?
A likely candidate is Jarrod Washburn.
While Washburn was with the Mariners last year, he had a surprising campaign and was among the American League ERA leaders.
Washburn already turned down a great deal from the Minnesota Twins that seemed to send the message that he was holding out for his former team, the Mariners.
Signing Washburn would give Seattle a balanced rotation of three lefties and two righties and allow for more depth in the bullpen.
With Washburn comes a high number of innings which will give the bullpen more rest and if he has the same kind of season as last year, then he will also solidify arguably the best top three out of any rotation in MLB.
The Mariners rotation would then be a scary top five of:
  1. Felix Hernandez
  2. Cliff Lee
  3. Jarrod Washburn
  4. Ryan Rowland-Smith
  5. Ian Snell
Other alternatives would be Erik Bedard (don't even go there), Pedro Martinez ( probably a mid-season acquisition who has expressed no interest in Seattle), Chien-Ming Wang (coming off an injury), Todd Wellemeyer, Eric Milton and Livan Hernandez.
Out of all of those options, Washburn is, in my opinion, the best and most likely candidate to come to Seattle.
So honestly Seattle, what are you waiting for?