Jon Heyman is reporting that the Royals are showing, "strong interest," in free agent lefty Jarrod Washburn. Washburn of course was acquired by the Tigers from the Mariners last year and promptly imploded before hitting the operating room.
Washburn's mediocrity for the past few years is legendary and fans in Seattle grew quite tired of him before last year when a dazzling first half of the season built up enough value for the Mariners to deal him off. Prior to that, the Twins had claimed him off waivers in 2008, but the Mariners, instead of choosing to simply dump his 10m salary off on the Twins, decided that wasn't enough. They ended up making good on that in 2009.
Washburn operates in the high 80s, averaing 88.3mph on his fastball last year, while averaging 5.33 strikeouts per nine innings. He struggled with his control a bit before last year, but managed to post his best BB rate since 2004 last year at 2.51 per nine. Washburn is another fly-ball pitcher and the team who acquires him should either have a strong outfield defense or a stadium large enough to hold some of those fly balls in the park.
Would the Royals be that team? I should hope not. The last thing that organization needs is a mediocre veteran tying up more payroll. I'd imagine this report is probably inaccurate, but we'll have to wait and see.