Sunday, December 26, 2010

Brandon Webb Signs with Rangers

UPDATE (12/27/2010 at 11:40 a.m.):  Buster Olney of ESPN reports that Webb's deal is for one year $3M plus incentives that, if reached, could make the total package worth between $8-10M.  This seems like a bit of an overpay to me.  While Webb was one of the best pitchers in the NL for a period of four or five seasons, it still doesn't change the fact he hasn't pitched in two seasons.  Plus, the workouts he's held since last summer could best be described as underwhelming.  Seems like a lot of unnecessary risk to me.

Original Post (12/26/2010 at 4:46 p.m.): According to Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse, 2006 Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb has agreed to contract with the Texas Rangers.  Considering Webb's injury history, it should come as no surprise that the deal will not be finalized until he passes a physical.  Terms of the contract have not been disclosed, but it's expected to be for one year. 

Webb hasn't pitched since Opening Day 2009 when he tore the labrum in his pitching shoulder, so clearly this signing comes with quite a bit of risk.  The amount of risk, of course, depends on the amount of money Webb is being paid.  Considering the fact he hasn't pitched in two seasons, his salary isn't likely to exceed $1-2M.  If that's the case, it looks like a pretty solid deal for the Rangers who are desperately in need of pitching depth.

Prior to his injury, Webb was a consistent 6.0-6.5 WAR pitcher with great control, whiff inducing stuff, and an above average ability to keep the ball in the yard.  Expecting him to recapture that form in 2011 is unrealistic.  If the Rangers can get even 2.0 WAR out of Webb, it will be nothing short of a victory.  Webb will likely use the 2011 season to rediscover his velocity, improve his stamina, and rebuild his value.

In 2008, Webb put up a 22-7 record with 3.30 ERA, 3.28 FIP, 7.27 K/9, 2.82 K/BB, while providing 6.0 WAR in value.

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