Well, would you be willing to take the risk? Seems that ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick thinks the Reds could consider landing the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner and former Arizona Diamondback ace. Webb was also the runner-up in 2007 (Jake Peavy) and 2008 (Tim Lincecum).
If the Reds were to actually pursue Webb, Crasnick also indicates that there could be as many as six other teams willing to go after Webb. The Dodgers, Pirates, Twins and Rangers are on one tier while he puts the Reds, Nationals and Cardinals on another.
A popular theory on any free agent signing is being close to home. Webb is from Ashland, Kentucky and attended UK. There’s no other real tie between Brandon Webb and the Reds other than location, location, location.
With the Reds already hosting a stable of young arms and a steady veteran in Bronson Arroyo, would it make sense for the Reds? It sure does.
Remember right before the All-Star Game last season? The Reds starting rotation at that time was Arroyo, Johnny Cueto, Travis Wood, Mike Leake and Matt Maloney. Aaron Harang and Homer Bailey were on the DL. Edinson Volquez was just about to rejoin the Reds starting staff, but not until after the break. Granted Wood and Leake turned in good seasons and Maloney was more than solid in the #5 role, but the sad truth is that injuries should always be considered. Leake’s season was shortened to due shoulder fatigue…or so we were told.
And it’s an option that Walt Jocketty must explore. There’s no guarantee that Arroyo will throw his 200+ innings. There’s no guarantee that either Wood or Leake (or both) can provide you with 23-25 starts. There’s no guarantee that Volquez won’t suffer another setback. There’s no guarantee that Bailey and Cueto can provide consistent seasons. A backup plan is a necessity.
Sure the Reds also have the services of Maloney, Sam LeCure and the potential of Aroldis Chapman as a starter. That uncertainty of Chapman’s 2011 status as a starter or reliever lends even more reason to see what’s going on with Webb.
And there’s not a thing wrong with kicking the tires….