MLB Rumors: Should the Yankees Take a Risk and Look Into Brandon Webb for 2011?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IDecember 15, 2010

PHOENIX - APRIL 06:  Starting pitcher Brandon Webb #17 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after giving up a solo home run to Chris Iannetta #20 of the Colorado Rockies during the MLB openning day game at Chase Field on April 6, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After being spurned by Cliff Lee, who will now sign with the Phillies this week, the Yankees need a Plan B.

Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman needs a Plan B right now.

They made a couple of small signings today, which included signing catcher Russell Martin to a one-year deal to potentially be the starting catcher for 2011.

The Yankees also signed oft-injured pitcher Mark Prior to a minor league deal worth about $750,000 plus possible incentives.

Signing Prior is a low-risk move, but I'm not really expecting much out of Prior getting to the major leagues. He hasn't pitched in the majors since 2006 with the Cubs and probably doesn't have the same dominance he once had.

Prior might be a small part of the Plan B. I am going to make a suggestion as to another part of it.

It might sound crazy because again, it's a major risk. But right now, the Yankees need to act.

I feel the Yankees should look into Brandon Webb for 2011.

OK, yes Webb has been often injured since the end of the 2008 season and has virtually missed most of 2009 and 2010 with arm and elbow problems.

Before the injuries, Webb was guaranteed to make anywhere from $15-22 million per season. In 2006, he was the National League Cy Young winner and was the runner up for the award in 2007 and 2008.

That was before the injuries hampered Webb for the next two seasons. Now, Webb is just looking for a job.

Webb finds himself in the same situation Ben Sheets was in last season, who got signed to a one year deal by the Oakland A's, but had his season end to another injury.

With almost two years on the shelf, Webb is looking to get back in the majors and teams are skeptical to sign him.

Teams like the Nationals, Cubs, Rockies and Dodgers have all checked in and shown interest in Webb, and up until now, the Yankees haven't publicly shown interest in Webb.

But, that was mostly because the Yankees were all in for Lee and struck out. Now it makes the Yankees looking for other options. Now Webb could be an option for them.

The Yankees in 2003 took a chance on Jon Lieber, who was recovering from major arm injuries by giving him a two-year deal, most of which he collected on in 2004 when he pitched well for the Yankees. That deal worked out for the most part for the Yankees.

The Yankees took a chance on Lieber seven years ago.

The Yankees should at least look into exploring for Webb now.

If they are not going to pursue a deal for Zack Greinke, can't get a deal for Josh Johnson, Felix Hernandez or Matt Garza and most certainly won't ever go after Carl Pavano, Webb should be looked at.

If the Yankees gave him an incentive-laden deal based on games pitched, innings pitched and bonuses for other categories, the Yankees could make it happen.

After all, they do have about $25 million free that they were preparing to give Lee.

I'm sure Webb would only cost anywhere from $1-5 million right now, if that.

For all we know, the Yankees won't even pursue Webb and could have a plan that we might not even know about.

But if the Yankees are looking for suggestions, I am making a bold and risky suggestion right now.

Look into Webb, it can't hurt to check in on him.


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