Jarrod Washburn provides the Tigers with some depth in their rotation and should be an improvement over the man he's replacing, southpaw Luke French. Washburn also gives the Tigers a better fourth-starter option than Armando Galarraga for a playoff series. Washburn has been the beneficiary of Seattle's markedly improved defense, particularly its outfield defense, but Detroit also is generally a good defensive club, with a couple of All-Star defenders in Curtis Granderson and Adam Everett. Detroit's lead in the American League Central is small enough that the extra win it might get from having Washburn instead of French in its rotation easily could be the difference between making the playoffs or going home (or having to play a one-game playoff to get in). And the price for Washburn wasn't high in terms of prospects.
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Keith Law joined ESPN.com in June 2006 as the lead baseball analyst for Scouts Inc., covering the majors, minors and amateurs. He appears regularly across the ESPN family of networks, providing analysis on all baseball topics.
Before joining ESPN, Law spent 4½ years with the Toronto Blue Jays as a special assistant to the general manager, and was previously a writer for Baseball Prospectus. He graduated from Harvard College and holds an MBA from the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.