Washburn considering MLB comeback

Although he didn’t pitch this year, left-hander Jarrod Washburn never formally announced his retirement.

That was probably wise.

Washburn told FOXSports.com on Monday that he is considering a comeback.

“I honestly am very happy with my decision to not play (in 2010) and hadn’t thought of playing again until recently,” he said. “This past week I have already been contacted by a couple teams, just to gauge my interest in coming back, so that has made me think about it a little.”

Washburn, 36, stressed that he hasn’t decided whether to pitch in 2011. But he added this: “I will not say I am 100 percent retired because a great opportunity might present itself.”

What would constitute a “great opportunity” for Washburn?

He has said before that he would like to pitch near to his Wisconsin home. Geographically speaking, the two most appealing franchises would be the Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. Last November, he said, “I think both of those teams would be good fits for me.”

For Washburn, the Brewers might be even more enticing than they were last offseason. Their new manager is Ron Roenicke, a former Angels coach who worked with Washburn on the 2002 World Series champions.

“Love him,” Washburn said. “Great hire for the Brewers. I think he will do very well there. Knew it was only a matter of time before he got his shot. He learned under one of the best in (Mike) Scioscia. Others who did that seem to be doing very well, in Joe Maddon and Buddy Black. I’m sure he will do great.”

If Washburn can reclaim the success he had in Seattle during the first half of the 2009 season — 8-6 with a 2.64 ERA — then he should hear from a lot of interested clubs this winter. His performance dropped off after a trade to Detroit that year; the struggles were widely attributed to a left knee injury that ultimately required surgery. He has since said the knee “feels great.”