Dec
26

Yankees are keeping an eye on Brandon Webb

By

Via George King, the Yankees are monitoring the progress of free agent right-hander Brandon Webb, but “they don’t appear to be in a hurry to do anything.” The now 31-year-old former Cy Young Award winner has started one game in the last two years because of major shoulder surgery, so the chances he turns back into the guy that racked up 19.9 fWAR from 2006 through 2008 are the longest of long shots. The truth of the matter is that no one has any idea what he’s capable of right now, which is why I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yanks target a little more a sure thing instead, even if it’s just Jeff Francis. At least he got on the mound for 100+ innings last season.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League

46 Comments»

  1. Adam B says:

    I actually like this, he wont cost a lot and as long as you get ground balls you can get by with marginal velocity

    • With the Yankee left side of the infield, is a ground ball pitcher really preferable? Cash signed AJ and passed on Derek Lowe for that very reason. Not that AJ has been great, but it could explain the tepid interest on their part.

      If Webb was back to his old form, sure. He was a top flight pitcher a few years back. But with him or Chien Ming Wang, I wonder if there are better fits out there. With their velocity down a few pegs, they figure to get hit harder, and left side infield defense is a area of weakness on the Yanks.

  2. Accent Shallow says:

    I like this, as long as it’s a minor league deal.

  3. Jeffrey says:

    Probably the Yankees want to be under the radar because just their manifested interest in anyone seems to make his price double. If they can get him with an incentive laden contract I don’t see why they wouldn’t want to take a shot. But if he is looking for guaranteed money like Ben Sheets was last year, they will probably pass.

  4. KofH says:

    They’ve paid org filler nearly seven digits, I don’t see why offering him huge incentives with a million base would be a big risk.

  5. Marco says:

    After what has happened so far this Post-Season the Yankees have to sign him!!!
    He’s the only Pitcher left on the market who can win 15 games for the Yankees next season.
    The Yankees have to take the risk at this point!!!

  6. Samuel says:

    Brandon Webb was barely breaking 80 MPH oout in AZ in October. He sucks and his career is done. Major shoulder issues never work out for the good.

    Jeff Francis sucks too.

    And forget about Freddie Garcia. He can’t break a pane of glass.

    Hey, how about using your farm system to bring up a few healthy arms like David Phelps (31-8, 2.50 ERA in career). If Gerrit Cole signed back in 2008 and put up those numbers thus far, there would be demands from NY to CA to let him be the 5th starter.

    So when the 14th round pick from that same year does it, why is he considered “not ready yet.”

    Can’t be any worse than what Vazquez and Burnett put up last season, and Phelps would be much better AND cheaper than Jeff Francis and Brandon Webb.

    Cashman had his shot at buying another World Series title with Cliff Lee, now it is time for him to develop one from within.

    Time for Cashman to show everyone if he really is a good GM and not jsut a spender.

    • Can’t be any worse than what Vazquez and Burnett put up last season, and Phelps would be much better AND cheaper than Jeff Francis and Brandon Webb.

      Oh yes he can. By a lot, actually. The Yankees brought up other pitchers who were not ready in the past and if often failed pretty badly. Christian Parker and Chase Wright are just two names off the top of my head.

      • Samuel says:

        Chase Wright was never any good. Another sinkerball guy with no out pitch.

        Second coming of Wright in Shaeffer Hall, btw. Hall might be a bit tougher to hit as his command is much better.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Minor league win-loss record and ERA is so irrelevant, it’s not even funny. You might as well tell me the name of his first girlfriend, that carries about as much weight when it comes to giving a guy a rotation spot.

      Phelps could easily be far, far worse than Javy and Burnett. If they don’t think he’s ready yet, which he probably isn’t, then they absolutely should not give him a big league rotation spot.

      • Steve H says:

        Kirk Saarloos went 17-1 over a 2 year span in the minors with a 2.12 ERA. Are you telling me he didn’t become a great major league pitcher?

        • Samuel says:

          Kirk Saarloos was a sinker baller who the A’s though would be great for them in their sabermetric mindset. He couldn’t pitch, had no strikeout stuff and had nothing else to offer on the mound.

          He basically sucked but the saber guys thought he was good cause of his high GB rates.

          Sinkerball pitchers are the worst. They never are effective for long periods because they throw the sinker so much, they can not go to any other pitch when their sinker flattens out.

          Plus sinker ball guys tend to eventually have shoulder issues.

          Always stay away from sinkerballers.

          • hogsmog says:

            Oh, ok, so what you’re telling us is that stats like ERA and W/L record are only relevant in the context of each individual pitcher, and their bearing on that pitcher’s performance in the majors should be taken on a case-by-case basis? That flashy stats mean absolutely nothing with regards to whether or not we should give someone a spot in the rotation?

            …OH.

            • Samuel says:

              It’s not only stats and W/L record. Did I not say that Saarloos had no out pitch? He could not strike guys out.

              Phelps can strike guys out, and he also does not walk guys, around 2.0 per 9 in his career and has almost a 4:1 K/BB ratio.

              Is that good enough for you? He also gets ground balls, too with his curve, slider and change up.

              Like I said earlier, if Gerrit Cole signed in 2008 and put up those numbers Phelps has done, Axisa would already have the Gerrit Cole watch on the side bar.

    • Cashman had his shot at buying another World Series title with Cliff Lee, now it is time for him to develop one from within.

      Time for Cashman to show everyone if he really is a good GM and not jsut a spender.

      Hughes, Cano, Gardner, D-Rob, and Joba were all recently developed from within. The Nick Swisher, A-Rod, Bobby Areu and Kerry Wood trades were all steals.

      In all honesty you sound like a Yankee hater who doesn’t have his facts straight, and I assume you’re actually a fan. That’s a bogus rap on Cashman, he makes good deals and develops from within all the time. Every GM has their share of screw ups, and Brian’s no exception. But on balance, he’s a good GM.

      • Karl says:

        Philly/Boston buy championships, they all chase the Yankees?

        YANKEES are the standard in excellence to model, didn’t yo know?

        When the other teams spend, it’s a double standard with people like you, when the Yankees spend always.

        YOU CAN’T BUY A CHAMPIONSHIP, money might gets you to POSTSEASON, which is it’s own beast, WITH NO GUARANTEES!

      • Samuel says:

        Hughes and Cano were brought in the system before Cashman took full control. I dont give him credit for that, but I do give him credit for ruining Joba.

        And I guarantee if Cano did not have a good start (with Wang)when he was promoted he would have been banished to the minors again.

        Red Sox got two terrible months from Pedroia and stuck wiht him, and he developed. Yanks dont have that type of patience.

        So you list two guys who are productive, but were in the system before Cash took over (oh, and they offered Cano in the Alex trade but luckily the Rangers took Arias instead), plus a speedy outfielder everyone on these boards thinks cant get better than his 2010 performance and two middle relievers.

        I have seen Phelps pitch half a dozen times, and spoken with him several times. He is intelligent and knows how to pitch. In 2009 he developed a spiked curve ball which he can throw in any count for strikes.

        Pitching ability is sometimes better than AJs “great stuff” or potential upside. What is in your head is just as important as how your arm is.

        And Mike, ERAs and wins are improtant in the minors. To have low ERAs without major league defenders behind you is tough enough, but to actually last enough innings in Yankee minor league games to win 31 games is a miracle in itself and deserves more respect from the xFIP crowd.

        Yanks did not believe in Phelps and is one reason why they never put any limits on him his first two seasons. You can tell who the Yankees think have a shot because they baby those guys from Day 1.

        They never had strong ideas with Phelps until middle of last season when he dominated Double A.

        You can substitute any other arm (Mitchell, Noesi, Warren) for Phelps and put him in the No. 5 spot and they will give you better than 10-15 with a 5.26 ERA.

        By the way, Jon Lester had lousy numbers in the minors and he turned out pretty good. Phelps has better numbers than Lester and has developed quicker, but David is now 23 and Lester was 23 when he was brought up to Boston.

        The problem with all the 20 something Yankee fans out there is that you guys only grew up watching games during the Jeter years. You have only known superstar teams built together with big names.

        You have only known success and have fits when things always don’t go right like 2008. You are comfortbale signing everybody else’s players. How many of you would love to have Pujols next year? Probably most.

        I don’t want Pujols, never did want Joe Mauer to come here and didn’t want Lee, either.

        I want Yankee guys. Guys from the system. Sometimes the vicious circle can’t keep turning with big contract after big contract.

        Need to bring in some cheaper talent, and I don’t mean Freddie Garcia.

        • To have low ERAs without major league defenders behind you is tough enough,

          I’m going to flip this: to have a low ERA against a ton of guys who will never sniff the majors isn’t the toughest thing in the world, right?

          You can tell who the Yankees think have a shot because they baby those guys from Day 1.

          How is that a bad thing?

          • Samuel says:

            Good point on the quality of hitters, but Phelps has had no issues even at the Triple A level and if he is good against those guys, what else can you go on?

            Get him a shot in the Bronx.

            And Matt, you can’t baby your top guys. Yanks have babied evey top guy and they still get injured. Strasburg was babied and he got hurt.

            You need to let them pitch, get out of their own jams and let them throw lots of teaching innings in the minors.

            Worst thing to do for a young pitcher is to keep removing them from games when the pressure starts to hit in the 5th-6th-7th innings.

            How are these kids supposed to get out of early inning jams down the road when they are not allowed to get out of later inning jams?

            When a pitcher gets out of things in the 7th inning with two out and two on by inducing a weak ground ball, he learns what works when he was tiring. If he gives up a big hit, then learn from that.

            Imagine what happens in the third inning same situation a game or three later that season.

            They need to build these pitchers to be 9 inning guys, not 6 inning pitchers. Then the constant need for the Chad Gaudin types are out the door.

        • bronxbrain says:

          I agree with much of what you say, Samuel. I would love to see the Yankees be more aggressive in utilizing their most MLB-ready prospects. I don’t know whether Phelps or Noesi would have much success–or would even match Vasquez’s 2010 season–but they ought to get a shot. I could accept the team missing the playoffs (perish the thought!) if it meant giving valuable experience to some of our prospects. Nothing satisfied me more last season than watching Gardner mature as a smart, effective hitter. Moreover, now is especially not the time to trade for an established mediocre starting pitcher, as every organization will demand a king’s ransom. Let’s keep our best young players and, when feasible, give them a shot.

          • Samuel says:

            It is going to be tough for the Yankees to make the 2011 post season. The Red Sox added two big bats and have two more returing from injury.

            The Rays are going to be better than people think with a more experienced pitching staff. Brignac and Jennings will have good years for them.

            The Jays are scary not for this seasons offense, but that Kyle Drabek is going to get a full year pitching in the majors and should be better in 2012 (not htat he will be bad in 2011), when the Jays will be really good.

            Yanks should give a a whirl with their young arms and see where it goes. I bet by the end of the year, Brackman will be in the MLB bullpen shutting down 7th inning hitters. Using the young guys can only be better for 2012.

            Need you young Yankee fans must make the post season every year? Doesn’t happen that way. Binder or no binder near Girardi.

        • bexarama says:

          And I guarantee if Cano did not have a good start (with Wang)when he was promoted he would have been banished to the minors again.
          Cano’s OBP was below .300 until late August of his rookie year.

          Red Sox got two terrible months from Pedroia and stuck wiht him, and he developed. Yanks dont have that type of patience.
          Cano’s 2008? Hughes’ 2008?

          The problem with all the 20 something Yankee fans out there is that you guys only grew up watching games during the Jeter years. You have only known superstar teams built together with big names.
          You have only known success and have fits when things always don’t go right like 2008.

          Thanks for generalizing me. I really appreciate it. <3333

          You are comfortbale signing everybody else’s players. How many of you would love to have Pujols next year? Probably most.
          In a vacuum? Who wouldn’t, it’s Albert Fucking Pujols. Don’t pretend like you wouldn’t want him on your team – like ANYONE wouldn’t want him on his or her team.

          I want Yankee guys. Guys from the system. Sometimes the vicious circle can’t keep turning with big contract after big contract.
          Yes, me too. Newsflash: not all prospects work out, and bringing prospects up too early can really hurt them just as much, if not more, than this so-called babying (OMG!!!!).

          First Name Only Male Handle Rule.

          • Accent Shallow says:

            First Name Only Male Handle Rule.

            I don’t necessarily agree with him, but I think this is much more reasonable than your typical offender.

          • Samuel says:

            I wrote that I wouldn’t want Albert Pujols on the Yankees. Isn’t that enough for you to believe?

            No, I don’t want Albert F. Pujols on the Yankees. Pretend or in reality.

            SAMUEL: And I guarantee if Cano did not have a good start (with Wang) when he was promoted he would have been banished to the minors again.

            YOU: Cano’s OBP was below .300 until late August of his rookie year.

            SAMUEL: Far be for me to disregard OBP on this site, but that is not the primary thing the Yankees wanted to see from Cano. They mostly wanted to see if he was overmatched in swinging the bat.

            Before 2010, Cano has never been a big OBP guy because he likes to swing the bat, many times on pitches out of the zone. But he has become more selective this season and does not chase pitches, epsecially those high ones anymore.

            Even in the minors, the only good OBP seasons he had were when he hit well over .300.

            Good OBP guys have a difference of 70 points or more between BA and OBP. Cano never has those seasons.

            YOU: Thanks for generalizing me. I really appreciate it.

            If the shoe fits. You are that age group, no? You dont look older than your picture displays on your twitter acct.

            And for generalizing, the most useless thought process is bringing up young pitching too early, which would “hurt their development.” If you want to discuss promoting young pitching around the “team control” value thing is one argument. But the thinking about retarding their development by bringing them up too early then they get smacked around and lose confidence is blatantly idiotic.

            No good pitcher is going to take a pounding by a lineup and think “OMG, I can’t do it!” Getting hit hard happens to every pitcher, just ask AJ Burnett.

            Getting hit hard really killed the confidence of Roy Halladay early in his career, didn’t it? Or Greg Maddux or even Tom Glavine.

            Good young pitchers should be pushed, within the system and to the majors.

            Phelps is a good young pitcher. Push him or Noesi, and see how they do.

            Good teams develop their own pitching, bad teams sign over the hill veteran free agents coming off major shoulder surgery.

      • OldYanksFan says:

        That is well stated. To add to it, Cashman is a MANAGER. A manager doesn’t offer opiniions as much as colate and consoladate information from people who WERE hired specifically to offer opinions… such as coaches and scouts.

        Obviuosly Cashman has the final say-so, and is more in touch with the overall needs and goals of this organization. Nonetheless, unless mandated by the owner (RIP George), my guess is most decisions made were of majority opinion.

        Gene Michael is still around. Cashman jumped on Kevins Towers when he was available. A good managers job is to surround himself with the best talent he can find, and to respect their judgement.

        And I believe Cashman is a very good manager.
        One with probably the most difficult job in organized sports.

  7. Dalelama says:

    From everything I have read and heard Webb is toast.

  8. Harris K. says:

    Jeff Francis is terrible!

    He has never posted an ERA under 4 in the NL West.

    Brandon Webb at least has upside… low risk, high reward. Why are we limited to 1 of them anyway?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Why would they sign with the Yanks to compete for a job when other teams are offering them guaranteed rotation spots?

    • Reggie C. says:

      Francis also called Coors Field his home ballpark for his career. Francis’s stuff just didn’t translate well. That said, Francis is a long-shot to succeed in any division given the injury history.

  9. bonestock94 says:

    His agent was talking about 1 year major league deal and money similar to Ben Sheets’ deal a few months back. Fuck that.

  10. Mike Myers says:

    Pitchers often dont return from shoulder issues. Doctors have figured out the elbow, just not the shoulder….I dont see Webb as a comeback candidate.

    Remember when a sinker doesnt sink it becomes a batting practice fastball….ala Wang circa a few years ago.

  11. Wil Nieves #1 Fan says:

    Brandon Webb…ooh I like this! You know what else I like…lying.

  12. Granderslam says:

    The Yankees are “monitoring” the situation. I heard that the Astros might have interest in Webb, which could preclude a Wandy trade. I wonder if that’s why the Yankees are keeping tabs.

  13. bonestock94 says:

    looks like he’s going to Cin

  14. AJ says:

    Webb is a Ranger.

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