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Tag:Brandon Webb
Posted on: September 23, 2009 2:05 pm
 

Brandon Webb Not Renegotiating

Brandon Webb has stated that he is unwilling to renegotiate his contract to stay with the Diamondbacks, and why should he.  He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball the past four years he’s pitched, and since 2003 the Diamondbacks have leaned on him for his consistent performance and his ability to give the team the chance to win.  He has a career era of 3.27, and a pitcher who doesn’t give up a lot of runs is crucial for a team that doesn’t score a lot of runs or scores them inconsistently.  For the past several years Brandon Webb has watched as pitchers who have not equaled him on the mound soar past him in terms of salary. 

For the Diamondbacks it will be a tough decision on whether or not to risk essentially six million dollars to keep Webb.  For other teams it is not.  Webb knows that there are many teams out there that can afford him and would be more than happy to take a chance on a one year contract for a pitcher of his caliber.  He’s had the surgery, he’s healthy (according to him), and he will be ready to go come spring training. 

The difficulty of the decision for the Diamondbacks is that they have to make the decision sight unseen, as Webb cannot pitch off a mound until December, about a month after the Diamondbacks are required to declare whether or not they will pick up his option.  The team has erred on contracts in the past with Chris Young, Eric Byrnes, and Chris Snyder, and will be hesitant to take any chances now.

But is Brandon Webb really that big of a risk?  If they keep him it will cost the team $8.5 million dollars, if they cut him it will be about $2, a $6 million dollar swing.  There are no pitchers on the free agent market that can equal a healthy Brandon Webb, or even a 75% Webb, for that amount of money.  In that context the decision to sign him should be automatic.  In addition to the lack of quality free agents that could be had for $6 million the Diamondbacks really only have to gamble on one year.  Even if Webb is not able to return to the form that he once had the worst that the team has lost is $6 million, not $30 million like they did with Byrnes.  The only two starters that will be in the rotation next year that are certain are Dan Haren and Max Scherzer.  Doug Davis will most likely be gone, and if the team elects not to pick up Webb’s option they will need to acquire three starters in the off season.

I’m not sure if the Diamondbacks front office has noticed, but the team didn’t play very well this year.  Starters often did their part only to either not get any run support or to have the bullpen give up the lead and undo the six or seven previous innings.  Those are two things that don’t really appeal to pitchers who rely on their team to give them a statistic critical in their free market value, a win.  This means that a free agent pitcher will likely have to have exhausted all other options before signing with the Diamondbacks, as was the case with Jon Garland this past off season.

Teams will low salaries need to take a few chances on players to win. Even when you take all the emotion and history out of the decision the best way for the Diamondbacks to proceed is to pick up the Webb option just because there isn’t anything out there that is better.  It is, maybe, their only option.

Below is a short list of free agent pitchers with a salary close to Webb’s 2010 option of $8.5 million.

Eric Bedard 09 Salary $7.7m, 2.82 ERA, out half the season
Kevim Escobar 09 Salary  $10m out all season
Rich Harden 09 Salary $7m, 4.09 ERA
John Lackey 09 Salary $10m, 3.56 ERA
Carl Pavano  09 Salary $1.5m, 4.82 ERA
Todd Wellemeyer 09 Salary $4m, 5.81 ERA
Jarrod Washburn 09 Salary $9.8m, ERA 3.78

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 3, 2009 11:08 am
 

Breaking News from Ashland, Ky re: Brandon Webb

Everyone knows what a media hub Ashland Kentucky is right?  You know, Ashland, KY, population 22,000, 12 square miles, the city that never wakes up.  No surprise that the local paper there was the one to break the story on Brandon Webb having surgery.  They were the first to know, the reporter probably had talked to Webb’s dad at the coffee hour after church on Sunday.  But who was the last?  None other than Webb’s “former” team, the Arizona Diamondbacks.  After all, why do they need to know, it’s none of their business.

Josh Byrnes and co. got the news the same way the rest of the general public does, via the general media. Not firsthand from a call from Brandon Webb or his agent as one might expect, prior to everyone else.  If this is not the writing on the wall that Brandon Webb now considers himself a free agent I don’t know what is.

I think everyone was doubtful that Webb would remain a Dback after last week’s news on his progress, but now it seems an almost certainty.  It is very, very, unfortunate that this is the way it ends.  A homegrown pitcher who dominated the past three years is now cast aside, his usefulness for the team now expired.  But in all reality the Diamondbacks have little choice but to not pick up his option.  A cash stapped team struggling to compete paying $11 million to a useless outfielder cannot afford to pay another $8 million to a pitcher who wouldn’t even be able to pitch again until next August.  It just isn’t feasible.   

I think that every Diamondback fan wishes Webb the best of luck, and just prays that he doesn’t follow the footsteps of other scorned players and sign with the Dodgers.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 9, 2009 2:08 pm
Edited on: July 9, 2009 6:15 pm
 

Time to Pick Up the Option on Brandon Webb

The Diamondbacks have not had the greatest track record when it comes to offering contracts to players; see Eric Byrnes, Chris Young, and Russ Ortiz.  Throughout the 2008 season there was talk off and on regarding Diamondback ace Brandon Webb’s contract extension.  It appeared that they had reached an agreement when the team’s insurance company balked due to Webb failing to meet their medical standards.

Now Webb is in limbo.  He’s been out all season, he’s just found out that he won’t need surgery last week, and he doesn’t know if he will pitch this season or for who he will pitch for next season, if he is able to pitch at all.  He’s made comments to the effect that he wants to pitch this season to show some team that he can still play, and reading those comments it can be inferred that he may be nervous about his future.

The Diamondbacks hold Webb’s contract option for 2010.  They can either buy him out for $2 million or pick up the option for $8.5 million.  The team owes it to Webb to pick up his option immediately if for nothing more than to give him the security that he will have a job next season.  Webb has either won or came in second in the Cy Young voting the past three years.  He started his career here and has never complained about his contract publicly despite peers like AJ Burnett signing contracts valued over twice what he was being paid.  The Diamondbacks have had a bargain with Webb the past few years.

There is little risk in picking up his option.  It is a six million dollar difference and it’s unlikely that they would be able to pick up anything more than a number four starter for that amount anyway.  The worst case scenario is that Webb pitches poorly and the team is out six million dollars.  But how much worse could Webb be than the average number four starter?

The best case scenario is that Webb comes back in full force, pitches like he used to, and the Diamondbacks now have their A and 1A pitching duo back.  Then they can look at offering Webb an extension, and if they decide they can’t afford it they will certainly be able to get a fair amount in return for trading him. 

The team just gave a three year contract to an unproven manager; the least they can do is pick up a one year option on a pitcher who has brought so much success to the organization.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 22, 2009 6:22 pm
 

Worst Case Scenario

With the news that Brandon Webb will most likely require surgery the Diamondbacks now have the worst case scenario for their Cy Young pitcher.  Going into the season had they been unable to resign him and if he had pitched like he has the last five years it would have been easy for the team to trade him.  Now with the injury they are unable to trade him and unable to resign him as his market value is skewed.  If they couldn't get a deal for him when he was healthy there surely won't be one with him being out the entire season.

The only move the Diamondbacks have at this point is to pick up his 2010 option and hope that he's healthy next year.  Whether or not his injury is as serious as it appears on the surface remains to be seen.  Why would Webb try to rush back if he's not 100% for a team that will not be going to the post season and has put up marginal run support for fellow ace Dan Haren.  The smart move for him and his career is to be cautious and make sure he's completely healthy and injury free before taking the mound again.  We can't blame Webb for that,  just part of the game.  While I would love to see Webb stay a Diamondback I have little hope that they will be able to afford his kind of talent competing with the open market.  But stranger things have happened and the free agent market has dropped considerably, so who knows, maybe Webb will be wearing the Dbacks hat in 2011.
Category: MLB
Posted on: June 18, 2009 4:24 pm
 

The Guts to Make a Suggestion

A challenge was issued yesterday here at the brewery, what would I do to fix the Diamondbacks.  So I have compiled a roster based on free agents.  I am not assuming any trades because I really have no idea if they would go through, so all the players on the new roster would be acquired by free agency.  I did a little assuming on the salary figures, generally allowing for at least a twenty percent increase, often times more.  The roster also includes Brandon Webb, because at this date it is unlikely he’ll be traded, should he come back and have a few good months it may be another story.  Again, disclaimer, I just guessed on the free agent salaries I could be way off.

 

First step is handling the current roster.  I would get on the phone and wheel and deal every potential Diamondback free agent that I could that has any value.  That is Jon Garland, Doug Davis, Felipe Lopez and Scott Shoenenweis.  I’m guessing that they will at least receive some prospects for this group of players, but it is a moot point, as no prospects are on the new roster.  These four players will save the team about 22 million in salary. Then the off season will come and the Diamondbacks will then lose their remaining free agents Tony Clark, Tom Gordon, and Chad Tracy.  This will save the team 6.3 million. 

 

So now the team has 28.3 million to acquire free agents.  The Diamondbacks will need a couple solid relievers, a good first or third baseman, a second baseman, and another starting pitcher.

 

So now I look into adding an arm to the rotation, preferably a left handed arm, so I would get Erik Bedard.  He is a left handed pitcher with a career ERA of 3.70 and a WHIP of 1.32.  Right now he is making 7.7 million; the Diamondbacks may be able to get him for 12 million, a 55% increase in his current salary.

 

Next they need to address the infield.  There are better first basemen on the market than third baseman so I would again go to Seattle and get Russell Branyan.  Branyan is only making 1.4 million this year and is hitting .307 with decent power.  He hasn’t had a great career so far but he’s never had over 400 at bats in a season.  It looks like now that he’s getting regular plate appearances he is producing.  I think the Diamondbacks may be able to get him for 3 million, an 87% increase in salary.

 

From first base I move down the base path to second base.  I turn to Mark DeRosa.  DeRosa is a solid everyday player that will hit .280 and give you a little bit of power.  He’s also able to play multiple positions so it gives AJ Hinch flexibility in the lineup if needed.  Right now he is making 5.5 million, I think he may be able to be signed for between 6-7 million.

 

Finally the bullpen.  The first reliever I would get would be Chad Bradford.  He has been great for the Rays this season and has a career ERA of 3.24.  Right now he’s making 3.6 million so I may put him at 5 million for next season, about a 40% increase.  The next player for the pen would be Ryan Franklin.  He has a career ERA of 4.12, and WHIP of 1.32.  He’s making 2.5 million so they may get him for 4 million, a 60% increase.

 

Players lost to free agency:

Doug Davis $8.75 million

Jon Garland $6.2 million

Chad Tracy $5 million

Felipe Lopez $3.5 million

Tony Clark $800k

Tom Gordon $500k

Scott Shoenenweis $3.6 million

 

Total savings $28.35 million

 

 

 

 

Players added and their assumed salary:

Erik Bedard $12 million

Russell Branyan $3 million

Mark DeRosa $6 million

Ryan Franklin $4 millon

Chad Bradford $5 million

 

Total amount added $30 million, about a 7% increase in salary.

 

So here is your new roster and new rotation Dbacks fans, get ready to buy your World Series tickets.

 

C Chris Young

1B Russell Branyan

2B Mark DeRosa  

3B Mark Reynolds

SS Stephen Drew

LF Gerardo Parra

CF Chris Young

RF Justin Upton

 

SP Brandon Webb

SP Dan Haren

SP Erik Bedard

SP Max Scherzer

SP Billy Buckner or other

This is not a crazy fantasy team of all stars, mostly just the same players that they have now with a few pieces filled in with reliable free agents who have a proven history.  I left Chris Young in there because he is a good defensive player most days and I don't really see any way to move him.  He'd be ok to have in the bottom of the lineup assuming the rest of the team hits.

So there it is some of these acquistions may be more realistic than others but it's just a suggestion.

Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
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