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Possible Suitors: Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, Washington Nationals
Brandon Webb could turn out to be the best bargain amongst starting pitchers in this year's free agent class. Although Webb has not pitched since Opening Day 2009 for the Arizona Diamondbacks, many are quick to forget that Webb is a former Cy Young winner, taking the award in 2006. If Webb is able to remain healthy, he could be a major addition to any team's starting rotation.
Many see the Texas Rangers as the favorite to land Brandon Webb, mainly because Webb's shoulder surgery was performed by Keith Meister, the Texas Rangers' team doctor. If the Rangers are unable to re-sign Cliff Lee, Webb could help fill a void in the Rangers' rotation.
In addition, Webb is well-suited for the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, a park that is known as a hitters park. Webb sports a power sinker, which has helped keep his home runs numbers low in past seasons. At 31, Webb is young enough for a long-term contract, as long as the Rangers feel he is healthy enough to receive one.
As a result, Webb could get some of the money that would have otherwise been used to attain Cliff Lee. However, if the Rangers are able to sign both pitchers, their chances of repeating as American League champions would be greatly increased.
Brandon Webb is the latest on a long list of free agents on the Washington Nationals' radar. Webb, who is being overlooked by many teams because of his injury history, could turn out to be a bargain for the Nationals, who may be strapped for cash after the outrageous deal given to Jayson Werth.
As a result, Webb may be able to be locked up for several years at a discount. This could greatly help the Nationals, who are doing their best to become a playoff team immediately. Webb would add a veteran presence to an otherwise young Nationals' rotation. However, if the Nationals can sign Carl Pavano, they could drop out of the Webb sweepstakes.
The Chicago Cubs have emerged as a leading candidate to land Brandon Webb. Following a dismal 2010 season during which the Cubs finished fifth in the not-so-strong National League Central, the Cubs would love to see Webb at the top of their rotation. With uncertainty surrounding the future of Carlos Zambrano, Webb could be an important acquisition for the Cubs' rotation. However, if Zambrano can be retained, the Cubs could make their way up the National League Central standings.
Where He Will Sign: Chicago Cubs