Washburn was ready for a quick getaway

Jarrod Washburn, the subject of persistent trade rumors, made a veteran move when the Seattle Mariners began a road trip last week.

“I packed like it was for the rest of the season,” he said Saturday, anticipating he might not make a return flight to Seattle. “I brought an extra suitcase. I figured it would be easier to unpack when I got home.”

Washburn’s strategy paid off when the Mariners traded him to the Detroit Tigers on Friday morning.

Along with his extra luggage, he caught a flight from Dallas to Cleveland, arriving around midnight, which led to momentary confusion.

Unaware that the Tigers-Indians game had dragged into the 13th inning, Washburn was puzzled when his cab passed Progressive Field en route to his hotel.

“I figured when the lights were still on that they were cleaning out the ballpark,” he said. “When I got to my room I turned on the TV and saw the game just ended.”

Washburn is probably fortunate that he missed the 5-hour, 2-minute, 490-pitch game, which ended in a 6-5 loss for his new team. The left-hander did gain significant ground in the standings, though.

The Mariners are in third place in the AL West and nine games out of first, while the Tigers lead the AL Central by 11/2 games over the Chicago White Sox.

The Mariners acquired left-hander Luke French and minor leaguer Mauricio Robles in the trade. Washburn is 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA in 20 starts this season and will start Tuesday night at Comerica Park against Baltimore.

“I had never been traded in my life,” he said. “All I’m worried about is pitching for the Detroit Tigers and getting another ring. The playoffs are an awful lot of fun and I want to get back.”

Washburn spent most of Saturday introducing himself to his new teammates.

“I don’t know a soul in here,” he said as he looked around the clubhouse. “I’ve played against them. I know them that way, but not personally.”

Short hops

Acquired from the A’s for prospect Tyler Ladendorf on Friday, Orlando Cabrera reached the Twins just in time to take batting practice Saturday, met with a large group of media and then learned he would be batting second against the Angels in front of Joe Mauer. To make room for the new shortstop, the Twins optioned infielder Brian Buscher to Triple-A Rochester. … Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez left Saturday’s game against the Cardinals in the fifth inning with a strained right hamstring. … Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano left the game at Florida after three innings because of a stiff back. The Marlins’ Hanley Ramirez also left the game, with a bruised left knee after being hit by a pitch from Zambrano in the third inning. … Three days after acquiring Freddy Sanchez from the Pirates, the Giants added him to their roster Saturday. … Right-hander Justin Masterson was added to the Indians’ roster Saturday, one day after he was acquired from the Red Sox for catcher Victor Martinez. … The Rockies have placed right-hander Juan Rincon on the 15-day disabled list because of stiffness in his elbow, making room on the roster for Joe Beimel, a left-hander acquired from the Nationals. … The Cardinals activated shortstop Khalil Greene from the 15-day disabled list. … The New York Yankees optioned infielder Shelley Duncan to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make room for newly acquired utility man Jerry Hairston. … Reds right-hander Edinson Volquez is scheduled to undergo elbow surgery Monday. It was not immediately clear if he will have a ligament-replacement procedure, known as Tommy John surgery.