*Update – Carlos Villanueva has been named as Milwaukee’s Tuesday starter – doesn’t necessarily mean anything, but it’s kind of interesting.
As you know, there has been a lot of speculation over the last two days about a possible trade, which would send Jarrod Washburn, and maybe another player to the Milwaukee Brewers. No one seems to be sure on what the return would be, but the two big names that have popped up are Alcides Escobar and JJ Hardy.
Geoff Baker thinks that Escobar is still a possibility, and so does Rob Neyer of ESPN, while several others don’t seem to think Milwaukee would be willing to move him. If Escobar is in fact untouchable, the most likely return for Jarrod Washburn (and maybe another player), would be 26 year old shortstop JJ Hardy.
JJ Hardy is under contract through 2010, and is currently the one thing keeping Alcides Escobar from taking over the starting shortstop role in Milwaukee. As much as I’ve fallen in love with Escobar over the last couple of days, I for one would be more than happy with Hardy. JJ Hardy is a good defensive shortstop, with an average bat and a great arm. He doesn’t have the range that Escobar has, but he would still be a huge improvement over any other shortstop option in our system. We would also have him through at least next season.
I don’t know if we could get Hardy straight up for Washburn, but if we could, it would be a steal. A lot of people point to the lack of pitching we would have next season if we dealt Washburn as a reason for not trading him, but there is a problem with that logic.
Jarrod Washburn’s contract is done after this season. It’s over. He says he likes pitching in Seattle, and would like to stay. If that’s true, and he does indeed want to stay, what is the problem with trading him now, and re-signing him in the off season. I don’t buy into the idea that trading him makes it tougher to re-sign him. If he wants to continue pitching hear, that’s the bottom line.
We can’t offer him arbitration, which means that if we hold onto him, we’re risking losing him for nothing. I for one would prefer the sure thing of a year and a half of Hardy, as opposed to a maybe slightly increased chance of re-signing Washburn. It’s just not worth the risk.
If Washburn for Hardy straight up is a possibility, please go get him Jack.
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