Raul Ibanez, Jarrod Washburn tested on market
Once again, fans are left to wonder whether this latest night of hitting exploits by Raul Ibanez was his final one in a Mariners uniform...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Mariners' next five games
Friday | @ Minnesota, 5:10 p.m., FSN |
M's RH Silva (4-13, 5.93) vs. LH Liriano (2-3, 6.55)
Saturday | @ Minnesota, 12:55 p.m., Ch. 13 |
M's LH Rowland-Smith (2-1, 3.71) vs. RH Baker (7-3, 3.78)
Sunday | @ Minnesota, 11:10 a.m., FSN |
M's TBA vs. LH Perkins (9-3, 4.07)
Monday | @ White Sox, 5:11 p.m., FSN |
M's LH Washburn (5-12, 4.58) vs. LH Buehrle (10-10, 3.77)
Tuesday | @ White Sox, 5:11 p.m., FSN |
M's RH Hernandez (7-7, 3.04) vs. RH Carrasco (1-0, 2.57)
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Once again, fans are left to wonder whether this latest night of hitting exploits by Raul Ibanez was his final one in a Mariners uniform.
The countdown to Ibanez's potential departure carried right up to the July 31 trade deadline, then resumed Wednesday when it was learned that both he and starting pitcher Jarrod Washburn had been claimed on revocable waivers.
Ibanez shrugged off the latest news, then went out a few hours later and produced a solo home run, two doubles, a single and scored the decisive run on a Wladimir Balentien homer in the 12th inning of a 10-7 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
Seattle has just over 48 hours to negotiate a trade with any club claiming the two players from the exact time the claim was made. That time frame was expected to carry through until at least this afternoon, after which the Mariners could pull both players back off waivers and keep them if not satisfied with the terms.
"I was told, by somebody in the know, put it that way, that I was claimed," Ibanez said when asked what he'd heard.
The Tampa Bay Rays, reeling from the possible season-ending injury to left fielder Carl Crawford, would certainly be in on any Ibanez waiver claim. But so would a host of other clubs, most notably, the Boston Red Sox, who would likely "block" any move by the Rays to upgrade.
Interest in Ibanez can only have risen since the July 31 deadline expired, given his torrid run at the plate this past week and again in his four-hit night Wednesday in front of 42,754 fans at Angel Stadium.
"We didn't give up, we didn't give in," Ibanez said after this marathon, in which Roy Corcoran tossed three scoreless innings for the win. "We kept fighting back. It was a great win for us and we did it together."
Felix Hernandez fell behind 3-1 on a two-run homer in the third by Mark Teixeira, but Ibanez's solo blast off Ervin Santana narrowed the gap in the sixth.
Seattle tied it in the seventh, but the Angels regained a 4-3 lead off Hernandez. Ibanez then opened the eighth with a double and scored on a two-out single by Jeff Clement.
Los Angeles took a 6-4 lead after that on sacrifice flies by Juan Rivera and Jeff Mathis off Sean Green. But Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez blew it in the ninth, yielding a two-run double to Jeremy Reed and a go-ahead single by Ibanez.
Seattle had been 0-64 when down after eight innings. But J.J. Putz couldn't hold the 7-6 lead, serving up the second homer of the night by Teixeira.
The game stayed tied until Ibanez led off the 12th with a double against Justin Speier, then trotted home on the two-out, three-run homer by Balentien, who'd struck out in four prior at-bats.
"I had a rough night," Balentien said. "But I stayed positive, stayed focused in the game and waited for an opportunity."
Whatever happens from here on the waiver front, the Mariners will have a different look come Sunday when Ryan Feierabend will likely be called up from Class AAA to make his first big-league start this season. R.A. Dickey has been pulled from the rotation so the Mariners can get a look at Feierabend -- removed early from his Tacoma start Wednesday after only 53 pitches so he could rest.
"We're just going to look at other options," manager Jim Riggleman said, refusing to officially confirm who will start Sunday.
Waiver claims are awarded in reverse order of finish, meaning the Rays, with the second-best record in the American League, would likely be well down the list of potential Ibanez suitors. If the Mariners opted to simply "dump" Ibanez's salary, they could simply let the claimant with the worst record have him for a $20,000 fee plus the remaining $1.35 million owed him this year.
But it's unlikely Seattle would do that, given that it could receive two high draft picks for Ibanez by keeping him this season, then letting him leave as a free agent. Either a trade for players would have to be worked out with a claiming club, or Ibanez would be pulled off waivers.
In Washburn's case, the Mariners could come out ahead by simply allowing a claiming team to have him for the remainder of his $13 million owed through 2009. For now, though, as was the case before the July 31 deadline, the Mariners appear to be trying to work out a trade for the pitcher, who turned 34 on Wednesday.
Teams put many of their players on these waivers and pull them back all the time in August, either to gauge trade interest or in hopes some might actually clear within 48 hours and become eligible to be traded outright. But the two Mariners are drawing particular interest around baseball because of the help they could bring contenders.
"I'm still trying to find out who made the claim on me," Washburn said, adding he'd been told it might have been the St. Louis Cardinals.
For now, a team seeing slow changes in the win column could at least have some dramatic ones off the field.
• Erik Bedard had another flat-ground throwing session at a distance of up to 90 feet Wednesday. That was the most yet for Bedard, who will now throw three flat-ground sessions in Minneapolis Friday through Sunday and then possibly have a bullpen outing later next week.
• Ichiro saw his 17-game hitting streak come to an end by going 0 for 6 with an RBI ground out.
• The blown save by Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez was only the second of his career against Seattle.
• Rodriguez was ejected for the first time in his career after arguing that lead runner Miguel Cairo had been doubled off second base on a fly out to right in a sequence that preceded Seattle's three-run ninth.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286
For the record
vs. AL West: 14-20
vs. L.A.: 4-7
vs. Oakland: 4-5
vs. Texas: 6-8
vs. AL East: 13-28
vs. AL Cent.: 10-17
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 12-22
vs. RHP: 34-52
Extra inn.: 3-7
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
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