Waiver Deal Rumors Heat Up

With rumors swirling about interest in Jarrod Washburn and Raul Ibanez, the Mariners try to play through the distractions and put together a solid end to a disappointing season.

INSIDE PITCH

The hot talk in the Seattle clubhouse is about who is rumored to be leaving the team.

One day it's left-hander Jarrod Washburn. The next, it's left fielder Raul Ibanez.

Multiple reports Thursday said that both players were remaining with the club after waiver deals fell through.

Ibanez was joking Wednesday in Anaheim that he'd been claimed by Detroit -- the Detroit Red Wings, to be specific.

It's safe to say he's not losing any sleep over it.

"It's speculation what's going on," Ibanez said. "It's truly irrelevant."

Internet speculation Wednesday said that Washburn had been claimed, although no team was identified. The Tampa Bay Rays were said to be interested in Ibanez with outfielder Carl Crawford having gone on the disabled list.

"I'm not saying it's impossible," Ibanez said. "But I don't think it will happen."

NOTES, QUOTES

--LHP Jarrod Washburn heard Wednesday that he'd been claimed on waivers, so he went to manager Jim Riggleman to ask him what he knew. "Wash came to me and asked, 'Can you tell me who claimed me?'" Riggleman said. "I don't know anything about that. I haven't heard anything like that."

--RF Ichiro Suzuki needs 45 hits in the last 42 games to reach the 200-hit level for the eighth consecutive season. Ichiro, who had a 17-game hitting streak snapped Wednesday in Anaheim, is on a pace for 209 hits, which would be the second-lowest total of his career with the Mariners.

--LHP Ryan Feierabend, who was 7-1 starting for Class AAA Tacoma, is the likeliest candidate to start for Seattle on Sunday in place of RHP R.A. Dickey. Dickey has been pulled from the rotation with a 2-7, 6.03 ERA performance as a starter. He was moved to the bullpen, where he is 1-0, 1.80. "We're going to look at other options," manager Jim Riggleman said when asked who'd start Sunday.

--LF Raul Ibanez, who is the subject of waiver-claims rumors these days, is as marketable as ever. Since he didn't get shipped out at the trade deadline, Ibanez is assuming he's staying put, and he's putting up great numbers. He's hitting .392 for the month of August with four homers and 19 RBIs in 51 at-bats. His on-base-plus-slugging percentage is 1.183 after four hits Wednesday, including his 19th homer.

--OF Jeremy Reed, who is splitting time between center field and DH these days, has made 11 starts this month, not bad for someone who spent the first couple of months of the season in the minor leagues. And he's making the most of it. He's had at least one hit in 10 of the last 11 starts, and two or more hits five times, pushing his batting average from .253 to .280 in the process.

--RHP J.J. Putz, who has blown saves in three of his last four chances, continues to get hit hard during an injury-plagued season in which he has twice been on the disabled list. However, he hadn't given up a home run since April 1 before Angels 1B Mark Teixeira hit a game-tying homer off him in the ninth inning Wednesday in a game the Mariners won in 12 innings. Hitters are averaging .285 against Putz this season after averaging .153 off him last year, as he's struggled with his command of the strike zone.

BY THE NUMBERS: 17 -- Consecutive days with games played for the Mariners through Aug. 10.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I would like to get to 100 wins before I get to 100 losses. I know I'm getting closer to the wins being the same as losses, and when I got here, it wasn't anywhere close." -- LHP Jarrod Washburn, who comes into the week 98-97 after three consecutive losing seasons with the Mariners.

MEDICAL WATCH:

INF/OF Willie Bloomquist (strained right hamstring) went on the 15-day disabled list Aug. 10.

LHP Erik Bedard (sore left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to July 5. He was unable to throw July 21, but an MRI the next day showed the same impingement he has had. He started throwing again in early August, but he might not be back with the Mariners before September.

RF Mike Morse (dislocated left shoulder) went on the 15-day disabled list April 14. He had surgery April 22 and probably won't play again this season.


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