Monday, December 27, 2010

Webb Signs with Rangers

Pending a physical, pitcher Brandon Webb has signed a one year deal with the Texas Rangers.  Webb has only pitched four innings in the last two seasons because of arm problems.  He needed surgery in August of 2009 to clean out debris in his shoulder, but pitched a little bit in the Arizona Instructional League in 2010.  In the end, Webb decided between the Rangers and a mystery team from the NL, most likely the Reds.

This is a good signing by the Rangers.  The amount of the deal hasn't been specified, but it has been reported that the deal is incentive laden, which is good for Texas.  If Webb pitches well, Texas pays more but gets more production in the process.  If Webb sustains more injuries, Texas doesn't have to pay Webb as much money.  If Webb is healthy, this is a great signing by the Rangers.  From 2003 through 2008, Webb went 87-62 with a 3.24 ERA, 7.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.  He won the NL Cy Young in 2006 (he went 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA), while finishing second in 2007 and 2008.  If he can continue to induce groundballs at his career rate of 62.4%, it will help him pitch well at Rangers Ballpark, which is a notorious homerun park.  If Webb can come close to his career numbers, the Rangers will have made a good upgrade to their rotation without spending much money.  Yes, they lost out on Cliff Lee, but they saved a lot of money in the process.  If reports are correct that Webb is indeed progressing well and preparing for Spring Training as he normally would, the Rangers probably are getting more bang for the buck than they would have with Cliff Lee (if Webb can stay healthy).  

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