The Mariners, who make surprising trades and are having a surprising season, apparently aren't giving up all hope of extending Jarrod Washburn's contract. It seems like a long shot to extend a quality starter on the eve of free agency, but Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said by text, "We're both open" to it.
Zduriencik said he hasn't approached Washburn yet and won't until "later.'' However, Mariners people -- including pitching coach Rick Adair -- are said to love Washburn.
Perhaps that explains why Zduriencik hasn't yet named a price for Washburn in his trade talks with the Yankees, who remain interested. If they do deal Washburn, the Mariners are especially interested in athletic players and defenders. The Dodgers would be another logical landing spot for Washburn, though he may be a bit pricey for them. Washburn is in the final year of a four-year, $37 million contract.
Zduriencik, who's having a sensational first year as GM and pulled off cost-efficient deals for David Aarsdma and Russell Branyan and also dealt J.J. Putz for six players, surprised folks by dealing for Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson and pitcher Ian Snell on Wednesday, signaling that they still mean business in 2009. Afterwards, Zduriencik declared to the Seattle Times, "No one is throwing up the white flag."