The Twins haven't had this much waiver wire speculation since...um, since...
I blame Buster Olney for causing a ruckus, throwing out careless and haphazard phrases like "The Twins make a lot of sense as a possibility" for Raul Ibanez. Soon afterward, Joe Christensen put the kibosh on that idea, saying the Twins weren't the winners of the Ibanez sweepstakes. Initially saying they didn't place a claim at all, Christensen updated his blog later as it turns out Minnesota did make a move, but were merely out-done by a team higher on the waiver wire pecking order (also known as the Detroit Tigers).
What's interesting about yesterday was that the Twins placed, and WON, their waiver wire claim on Jarrod Washburn. As we all know, teams often make this kind of a snide move in order to screw things up for another team, in this case speculation indicates it was done to block a Washburn-to-Chicago situation. That's not a bad thing, it's always nice to see the Twins doing something proactive. But THEN came the report that Minnesota was actually considering bringing Washburn and his hot streak to the Dome. Says Joe C.:
In Washburn’s case, it sounds like the Twins did indeed win the claim and had extensive talks with the Mariners. The Twins were willing to take on Washburn’s contract, and Seattle could have dumped it on them. But the Mariners also wanted the Twins to throw in one of their current starters.
Over the last couple of months, Washburn had been quite effective. But in the short (and long) term(s) I'm not sure how he fits, unless the Twins were thinking about moving Glen Perkins or Kevin Slowey into the bullpen. Which, again, doesn't make all that much sense for either Perk (there's already a bit of doubt that the Twins would put a legitimate reliever, much less a starter, into the 'pen if he's "another" southpaw) or Kevin (he's been pretty effective this year).
And of course there's the whole snafu of having the Mariners still asking for one of our four young starters not named Francisco Liriano in return...although I have it through reliable sources that that part of the conversation went something like this:
Bill Smith: Yeah, sure, we'll take Washburn off your hands and make him fit somehow.
Not Bill Bavasi: Okay, cool. Oh, by the way, it'll take Baker, Perkins, Blackburn or Slowey to get him.
Bill Smith: Up yours, smartass. (Click.)
At any rate, at least the White Sox won't be ending up with Washburn. Unlike the Ken Griffey Jr. acquisition, he actually might have improved their team.
Anyway, to wrap this up (sort of), Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times insists the Mariners and Twins could still work something out by placing Washburn back onto waivers again...although this time that would mean he'd be irrevocable and would go to the first team in the pecking order that claimed him, even if that wasn't the Twins. Either way it's a no-lose situation for the Mariners who would, at worst, save on dishing out the rest of Washburn's salary.
Personally, I have a hard time believing this organization will let any of their starters walk for a guy like Washburn, but since Seattle is the worst team in the American League they could work something else out for someone on the Twins 40-Man roster, since they'd have first dibs on waivers. And of course there are also those players who aren't on the 40-man.
No matter what Washburn's cost, even if it's peanuts, I'm just not convinced wedging him into the rotation is the best thing to do. Even thinking of October, I'm happy picking a three-man rotation from Liriano, Baker, Blackburn, Slowey and Perkins (and probably in that order, too).
Editorial Update: We offered Boof Bonser? No. No, not even for Boof Bonser will I take Jarrod Washburn...like I said, I'd have a hard time convincing myself it'd be a good idea for peanuts. Good lord, Seattle, if we were foolish enough to offer you ANYTHING other than salary relief...I'm not sure who gets Das Failboot points for this: the Twins for offering Bonser or the Mariners for turning it down. Let's just hope this fiasco is done.