Monday, December 20, 2010

Next up…Brandon Webb?

With the Cubs unable/unwilling to trade any position players, they are probably going to look at adding at least one more player and that player will then be a pitcher and most likely a starting pitcher at that.

There has been talk about Matt Garza being acquired in a trade with the Rays, but the only problem with that is that the Rays don’t appear to have any interest in trading Garza.

All this talk is oddly similar to the talk about the Cubs trading for Heath Bell last year. People kept saying that the Cubs were trying to get Bell…but in the end, the Padres had absolutely no interest in shipping him off.

So that brings us to the only other reasonable Cubs rumor right now…and that is the possibility of signing former Cy Young winner Brandon Webb to an incentive filled one year contract.

With Wood signed for well below market value, and Peña deferring half of his $10 million, the Cubs probably have about $5 to $6 million left to pay someone else.

Bringing Webb in with a base salary of $4 or $5 million might not be a bad idea…but one has to scratch his head at why the Cubs think they need even more starting pitching.

It’s another high risk/high reward thing with Webb. It’s very possible that Webb is no better health-wise than Mark Prior. Both have had shoulder problems. Both have missed a lot of time with their old team. Like Prior with the Cubs, the Diamondbacks were waiting and waiting for the last two seasons for Webb to come back, and he never did.

If the Cubs get Webb, what is the possibility that the result will be any different than when the Padres signed Mark Prior?

The D-Backs could have kept Webb…but with the option on his contract so large, it didn’t make sense for them to take that risk. At the same time, if they thought he had anything left, don’t you think they would have at least made some effort at re-signing him this year? They haven’t.

Jim Hendry has taken chances on a lot of players recovering from significant injuries. Some of these have turned our great…Ryan Dempster being the best example. Others…not so much…Wade Miller, Xavier Nady.

If the Cubs truly want Webb…they are probably going to have to outbid the Rangers for him which probably means he won’t come any cheaper than $4 million.

This might not be a perfect move for the Cubs, but unless they trade Fukudome, there isn’t much left this year that they can do.


And speaking of trading Fukudome, there are some rumors out there that the Cubs and Giants might be in negotiations for swap Fukudome for Aaron Rowand.

Rowand has 2 years and $24 million left on his deal, while Fukudome has 1 year and $13.5 million. This on the surface may not sound like a very good deal as the Cubs would have another crappy contract stuck on the books for an extra year. If this trade were to be made, you would have to assume that the Giants would be giving the Cubs a significant amount of money along in the process ($10.5 million to compensate for the difference in contract values?).

Both Rowand and Fukudome do have no trade clauses, so a lot would have to happen to get this deal done. With that said, keep your eyes out for the possibility of something like this sort of swap involving Fukudome occurring at some point in the next month.