Update: 12/26 @ 4:32 PM ET: Fanhouse’s Ed price reports a major league source confirms that Webb has reached a deal with the Rangers pending a physical. Neither Rangers GM Jon Daniels not Webb’s agent Johnathan Maurer have responded to this announcement.
Update: 12/26 @ 3:43 PM ET: Ken Rosenthal reports that according to sources, the Reds are, in fact, the “mystery team” going after the services of Brandon Webb. The extent of the Reds pursuit is yet to be known.
Update 12/26: Drew Silva of Hardball Talk is reporting that the Cubs and Nationals are no longer pursuing Brandon Webb. In a tweet by ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the “bidding” appears to be down to two teams…The Rangers and a “mystery team” from the NL Central. Hmm… Interesting…
A few weeks ago, I posted that there was a possibility that former Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb could consider becoming a Red. At that time, ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick tweeted that the Reds were an outside possibility.
Fast forward to today. Crasnick is reporting that while the Texas Rangers and Washington Nationals are still the front-runners, there’s a note to add. Get a load of this…
An unidentified National League Central team has expressed late interest, according to a source, but Webb is already several weeks along in the decision process.
Crasnick also says the Chicago Cubs have fallen off in their pursuit of Webb.
I only bring this whole thing up for one reason. As I was perusing the transcript from John Fay’s chat from this afternoon, a question posed to him was the possibility of the Reds adding another veteran starting pitcher to compliment Bronson Arroyo. Fay responded that the Reds may not be able to afford such. According to Fay, the Reds payroll would currently rest at about $80 million. If this estimate is close, I concur 100%.
But we all can play the “what if” game here. Most predominantly, what if the Reds cannot re-sign Arthur Rhodes? If Rhodes does not return (which Sir Arthur has stated he wants to remain in Cincinnati), the Reds could use that money earmarked for Rhodes to pursue Webb. Thing is, would it be a matter of too little, too late? Quite possibly.
What if Webb would prefer to play for a team that’s close to his hometown of Ashland, Kentucky (about 140 miles from Cincinnati)?
What if Webb were to be brought in, who’s the other odd man out? There’s already more arms than spots as it is.
Endless questions, really.
Look, I know some teams have already had their pitch to Webb. And as I look at the landscape of this whole situation, the Nationals have a foot in the door here. Nats GM Mike Rizzo was in Arizona when Webb was one of baseball’s most dominating pitchers. Familiarity with Rizzo could mean less of an adjustment for Webb who has missed the better part of two seasons. Also, with Stephen Strasburg on the mend, Webb would be an excellent option for Washington.
But could this be the case of creativity on Walt’s part? I also addressed that the Reds remained pretty much in hibernation so far this winter. This would be a wakeup call to the Reds fanbase even though the Reds are not necessarily in need of pitching.