Friday, July 31, 2009

Tigers boost title chances with trade for lefty Washburn

        Concerned about the prospect of having to make a run for the American League Central title with two rookie pitchers in their starting rotation, the Tigers on Friday acquired veteran left hander Jarrod Washburn from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for rookie Luke French and a minor league prospect.
        It certainly looks like a steal -- even though the Tigers will probably only be renting Washington for the rest of this year.
        The 34-year-old Washburn, who will be a free agent at the end of this season, turned his career around  this year after three lackluster seasons at Seattle. Washburn has an 8-6 record and a 2.64 ERA, third lowest in the league. And  sources say he has pitched much better than his win total indicates. Washburn beat the Tigers, 2-1, at Comerica Park last week.
        “We are excited to add an established starter the caliber of Jarrod Washington to our club,” Tigers’ president/GM Dave Dombrowski said in a statement announcing the deal, which came just hours before Friday’s 4 p.m. (EDT) trade deadline.
        “Washburn is having a tremendous season and he has been a quality major league starter throughout his career.”
        Washburn, who is scheduled to make his Detroit debut on Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park, gives the Tigers the veteran left-handed starter that they have lacked all season because of Dontrelle Willis’ anxiety disorder and the ineffectiveness and injury to Nate Robertson.
        A 12-year veteran, Washburn pitched for the Los Angeles Angels from 1998-2005.  He has a 106-106 lifetime record with a 4.02 career ERA.
        The addition of Washburn and the  departure of French leaves Rick Porcello as the lone rookie in the Tigers’ rotation.
        This marks the third time in four years that the Tigers have made a trade deadline deal. They picked up Sean Casey in 2006 and swapped Pudge Rodriguez for Kyle Farnsworth last year.
        French, who started five games for the Tigers this season after he was promoted from Toledo, posted a 1-2 record and a 3.38 ERA.
        Minor leaguer Mauricio Robles was 8-6 with a 4.24 ERA at Class A Lakeland and West Michigan this season. He will report to the Class A High Desert team in the Mariners’ farm system.


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