Mariners' Offer Not Enough to Entice Washburn Back
However, the club's financial limitations kept the offer small, and Washburn hasn't accepted.
Indications are that the offer was less than the $1.5 million base salary with $7 million in incentives that was given to another left-handed starter, Erik Bedard, who will begin the 2010 season on the disabled list.
A third lefty, 2008 Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, also is going to be on the disabled list for a minimum of two or three weeks to start the season, heightening Seattle's need for veteran pitching. Beyond ace Felix Hernandez, the Mariners' other four starters in Lee's absence -- Ian Snell, Ryan Rowland-Smith, Doug Fister and Jason Vargas -- have a combined big-league record of 61-73.
Washburn, who had an 8-6 record and a 2.64 ERA that ranked in the AL's top 10 during his 2009 tour with the Mariners before the trade, is a favorite of manager Don Wakamatsu and pitching coach Rick Adair.
After a several-week cessation of talks between the two sides, sources say GM Jack Zduriencik and agent Scott Boras have chatted recently, at which time the most recent offer came down. Indications are the Mariners don't feel they have the money to go higher than their Bedard offer with Washburn.
Washburn spent all but the last two months of the past four seasons as a Mariner, leaving only as part of a trade deadline deal last year when the Tigers picked him up for their stretch drive.
He's made it clear he'd like to return to Seattle -- his agent told FanHouse earlier this month that Washburn had the interest of four teams, Seattle included -- but it's unlikely he'd take less than Bedard was offered.