According to Jerry Crasnick, the Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the teams with an interest in starting pitcher Brandon Webb. Webb missed the entire 2010 season with a shoulder injury, and only made one start in 2009. He made an appearance in the instructional leagues at the beginning of October, but only topped out at 85 MPH with his fastball, and didn’t have much of a curveball. Following the instructional leagues, Webb was expected to take a few months off for rehab.
Webb also has drawn interest from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, and the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s a risky signing, and far from a guarantee to return to his former self. Because of that, he isn’t going to command a big salary, likely signing an incentive heavy deal.
The Pirates could be an attractive destination for Webb, considering the availability of spots in the rotation. That would give Webb a shot to sign a one year deal, establish value, and re-enter the free agent market in 2011. The Pirates have also shown interest in Justin Duchscherer and Jeff Francis, who are in similar injury risk situations as Webb, although not as extreme.
Any of these options would be one year deals, with incentive driven contracts. That wouldn’t provide the Pirates with a long term solution for the rotation, although it would be perfect to fill the gap until the 2010 Altoona rotation comes to the majors. Due to the uncertainty surrounding these pitchers, signing one of them doesn’t provide the Pirates with a guaranteed upgrade. A pitcher like Webb, Duchscherer, or Francis would be a great risk for the Pirates to take, but I’d rather see them prioritize an upgrade that will be around for multiple years, rather than taking a gamble on a guy who will only be around for one season.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.
I think it would be a great sign if he returns to his old form or close to it. He could turn into trade bait at the deadline and possibly bring us back better prospects or Major League Ready Talent. As of right now we are not ready to compete for the division. Why not bring him. If he does well maybe trade him for 1st baseman or right fielder and a prospect or two. And if not you dont have too much money tied into him.