I get it. I really do. Jarrod Washburn is a Wisconsin guy. He’s also a pitcher, which just happens to be one of the Brewers’ biggest needs this offseason. I can understand how everyone can come out with these “it would make sense…” articles.
But at the same time, it doesn’t make any sense at all.
I was going to get into all of the stats about how Washburn simply isn’t that good and isn’t likely to be good after taking a year off from baseball, but Jim Breen at Bernie’s Crew already did a very good job with that angle.
I’ll just say this — if Jarrod Washburn wasn’t born in La Crosse or didn’t go to high school in Webster, absolutely no one would be writing that the Brewers should sign him. The only thing he has going for him is the Wisconsin connection. It’d be a nice story, but the Brewers are (or at least should be) past giving jobs to local guys just to drum up fan interest.
Being from West Salem, I thought it was awesome when the Brewers brought in Damian Miller in 2005. But that was a different era in Brewers history. That was before the team had expectations for the playoffs every year. Right now, the Brewers can’t afford to bring in (or in Craig Counsell’s case, keep) guys who are past their prime just because they happen to be in-state products.
A lot of people are pushing the “he could be the next Jim Edmonds!” talk, but to me, this is more like this year’s Mark Mulder — the guy who the Brewers are supposed to sign all winter, but we get to Spring Training and start wondering why he hasn’t signed yet. And really, the Brewers should have nothing to do with Washburn unless they get to that point and still have a hole to fill. Then you offer him the Braden Looper/Doug Davis special and let him fill a rotation spot until you’re ready to replace him with Mark Rogers, Jeremy Jeffress, or someone else mid-year.
Let’s not forget that the Brewers were constantly connected to Washburn last offseason, too. If the team didn’t sign him last winter, when the pitching situation was much more dire, why would they bother this year?