Brandon Webb, who hasn’t pitched in the Major Leagues since 2009, is mulling a comeback to the mound and several teams are interested to see if the 2006 Cy Young Award winner can be an option for their rotations.
Webb has battled shoulder problems since 2009 and has had multiple surgeries on his right shoulder since then. However, before the surgeries, Webb was considered one of the best pitchers in baseball, using a dominating sinker to induce ground balls at an MLB-best 3.5:1 ratio from 2002 through 2008.
Webb, 33, has been trying to come back from rotator cuff surgery, one of the most devastating injuries a pitcher can have, and is seeking a chance to make a Major League roster.
There are a few teams interested in Webb and anxious to see if he can still be an effective pitcher when he holds an open audition in Arizona in the next few weeks. Among those teams are the New York Mets, Miami Marlins and Colorado Rockies, all of whom have questions in their rotation and they are looking at Webb as a low-risk, high-reward pitcher.
The Mets could certainly use some help in the rotation after losing R.A. Dickey in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. Financial constraints have prevented the Mets from pursuing high-end free agents like they did in years past.
The Mets have Jenrry Mejia penciled in as their fifth starter at the current moment. Mejia has had trouble staying healthy himself and has not looked very good when he has been given a shot in the majors. However, he is still young, 23, and still has a lot of talent in his right arm. Many think he is best suited for the bullpen with the potential to be a dominant closer.
Adding a pitcher like Webb wouldn’t hurt the Mets, so long as Webb shows them something in his audition. He won’t cost anything significant and, if healthy and at the top of his game, could help replace Dickey.
Granted, that is a lot to ask of a man who hasn’t thrown a pitch in three years. However, sometimes a team needs to take a risk, even if it is low, on a pitcher with Webb’s ability. Webb’s ability to keep the ball down would work well for the Mets, especially in Citi Field where pitcher’s mistakes sometimes just become loud outs.
The Mets have not spent a single dime on free agency this winter, not one. Aside from the Dickey trade the Mets have not altered their Major League roster, unless you count bringing in Collin Cowgill from the Oakland Athletics in a trade as a major move.
If Webb shows something in his audition, if his medicals look good, why not sign Webb and see if he has something left?