Photo: AP Images
The Texas Rangers are on the verge of signing gimpy-shouldered right-handed starter Brandon Webb to a one-year deal.Though it won’t generate the excitement the Cliff Lee signing did, this move is the smarter one for the cost-conscious Rangers.
Webb doesn’t require the commitment Cliff Lee did, but the former Cy Young award winner – who finished in the top two in NL Cy Young voting each year between 2006 and 2008 – has just as much upside.
In his six full seasons he’s posted an 87-62 record with a 3.27 ERA and more than seven strikeouts per nine innings. The ERA and strikeout numbers are better than Lee’s.
The difference, of course, is that while Lee lit the world on fire the last two seasons, Webb went under the knife hoping to repair a shoulder probably damaged from being hit by a line drive. Though there’s no way to know for sure, reports indicate Webb is near 100 per cent healthy. He’s so confident in that health, in fact, that he only considered one year deals. Webb’s certain he will restore his market value to its pre-injury level.
When healthy, Webb pounds hitters with a powerful sinking fastballs that dies upon contact. He ranks first among active starters in home runs allowed per nine innings. That plays perfectly in the Ballpark at Arlington, whose affinity for home runs has spelled doom for many a pitcher. The Rangers could walk away like bandits from this deal.
If Brandon Webb has proved one thing, it’s that pitching is a risky business. Coveted arms can throw 225+ innings for four straight seasons only to throw four innings over the next two. So while Philly holds its breath every time a line drive comes screaming up the middle, the Rangers will take comfort in their one year commitment. Especially if Webb rounds in to Cy Young shape.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.