Stark Truth: Waiver Wire Craziness

It’s possible Raul Ibanez and Jarrod Washburn have played their last games with the Mariners.
It’s hard to believe what to believe when it comes to this waiver wire business, because nobody really knows for sure. It’s mostly speculation.
Anyway, several newspapers and web sites reported that Ibanez and Washburn were claimed on waivers — Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on who you believe. Jeff Baker of the Seattle Times confirmed that both players said they’d been claimed. The M’s have until today to work out a deal with the clubs that claimed him.
As for Ibanez, it makes sense if Tampa Bay claimed him. The Rays need some offensive punch after losing left fielder Carl Crawford and third baseman Evan Longoria to injuries.
One thing we do know is that players pass through waivers in the reverse order of the standings. Teams in the same league get the first shot at a claim. To fall to the Rays, who own the American League’s second-best record, Ibanez would need to get through every AL club but the Angels.
So it wouldn’t be a surprise if Boston, or other AL contenders (maybe the Twins or White Sox) would block Ibanez from going to the Rays.
That said, the M’s still have to negotiate a deal with whatever club claims him. And they might not want to do that.
Ibanez is eligible for free agency next year, and only has about $1.5 million owed him from his current contract, so the M’s could wind up with two quality draft picks if the M’s offer arbitration, and Ibanez declines.
And why wouldn’t Raul decline? He’s 36 and why would he want to come back to Seattle to play for the rudderless Mariners, when he could probably get a two-year deal to play for a team with an opportunity to challenge for the postseason.
As for Washburn, if somebody claimed him as reported, you’d think the M’s would be happy to get rid of him. Washburn, 34, is owed the remainder of his $9.85 million salary this season and $10.35 million next year. Washburn (5-12, 4.58 ERA) pitched well in July, but he’s 0-3 with a 5.09 ERA in August.
Who would want Washburn? The Yankees showed interest, the Tigers are desperate for pitching and how about the Cardinals? Is it me, or doesn’t Washburn seem like the kind of pitcher that flourishes in St. Louis? Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa could probably get a couple of back-to-back 15-win seasons out of the lefty that’s struggled in Seattle.

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