I opened the Seattle Times this morning to find that the Mariners have signed Jarrod Washburn to a four-year deal worth $37.5 million. It's the longest contract Seattle has given a pitcher since the ill-fated Arthur Rhodes deal back in 2000.
Washburn is a fly-ball pitcher, so Safeco makes a lot more sense for him than the Launching Pad in Arlington, and the Rangers would have been NUTS to offer him a similar deal. It just sorta hit me between the eyes: Some teams are able to get it done. Why not the Rangers?
In other news, late word tonight is that Johnny Damon is defecting to the hated Yankees. Steinbrenner money-whipped him with $52 million over 4 years. This has been one of the most disastrous winters in Red Sox history, starting with the resignation of Theo Epstein and continuing through the losses of Damon, Renteria, Mirabelli, and Mueller.
The Yankees are well on their way to satisfying The Onion's prediction of signing every player in baseball.
And, finally, the Rangers made another trade today, sending Chris Young, Adrian Gonzales, and Terrmel Sledge to the Padres for RHP Adam Eaton and RHP Akinori Otsuka.
Chris Young had been a bright spot in the Rangers silly rotation last season. I really hope Jon Daniels got enough for him. According to the analysis in the Dallas Morning News, Eaton is regarded as a pitcher with a bigger upside than Young, due to his ability to throw a wider variety of pitches. However, he makes a ton more money and had some injury problems in 2005. Otsuka appears headed for the setup reliever role, since the Rangers failed to get Octavio Dotel.
A final Rangers note: Apparently, Big Dumb Tom met w/ Boras and Kevin Millwood today. Millwood is supposed to make a decision over the weekend, so no doubt we'll hear on Monday that he's signed somewhere else.