So long Wash….

At about 8:30am this morning, it was announced that Jarrod Washburn was traded to the Detroit Tigers for LHP Luke French and minor league LHP Mauricio Robles.

Sorry to see Wash go, but understand why it had to happen.

As the dust settles, seems most are thinking that Robles may be Jack Z’s diamond in the rough. And, he seems to be collecting some other gems as he travels down “replenishment road” unlike Bill B who preferred “plunder parkway” đŸ˜‰

The Mariners need pitching depth, and the gem of this deal is Robles, who has emerged this season to become one of the Tigers’ top-five minor-league prospects. And he is the second top-of-the-line pitching prospect Zduriencik has acquired this month. Earlier in July he traded Yuniesky Betancourt to Kansas City for Dan Cortes.

It is possible both Cortes and Robles could be in the Mariners’ rotation sometime in the middle of 2011 or the start of 2012. They represent two giant steps up for an organization that was thin on quality arms.

The Mariners’ scouts love Robles, a hard-throwing left-hander who has 111 strikeouts in 91-1/3 innings in Class A this season. Talent evaluation is Zduriencik’s strength. If he says Robles is a diamond, believe it. Venezuelan baseball officials thought enough of Robles to put him on their World Baseball Classic roster, heady stuff for a 20-year-old.

And after struggling in his first two starts with the Mariners’ Class AA team at West Tennessee, Cortes threw six shutout innings Tuesday.

As he promised when he got here, Jack Zduriencik is rebuilding the Mariners’ fallow farm system. Sure, Friday’s trade will hurt in the short run, but this is the kind of pain teams have to endure as they slowly get better.

Some thoughts on Robles from a Detroit perspective….

Mauricio Robles has a chance at being for Seattle what Jair Jurrjens has been for the Atlanta Braves.

Robles, a left-hander, is that good.

Fans don’t pay much attention to the minor leagues, particularly to the lower rungs, but they should — and for this reason.

Robles is 20 years old. He was promoted earlier this year from Single A West Michigan to Single A Lakeland. That’s a big step for a kid who can’t yet buy a drink.

And yet he has flourished. He has 40 strikeouts in 35 innings and only 14 walks. He had a 4-2 record and a 3.60 earned-run average.

And here’s a collection of info on Luke French as compiled by Larry Stone…

Good luck, Jarrod.

You go, Jackie Z !