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Shoulder Issues Stopped Webb Extension Talks

On Wednesday, C.J. wrote how Brandon Webb will miss at least a start after being diagnosed with shoulder stiffness. Well, now FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting that prior concerns over Webb's shoulder are what derailed extension talks for the ace last summer.

According to Rosenthal, Webb actually passed the team's physical for the three-year, $54 million deal the team and player had agreed on. That's when things got sticky, with multiple insurance companies balking at the condition of Webb's shoulder. Because the team couldn't fully insure Webb's contract, it withdrew the offer.

Making matters worse, MLB.com's Steve Gilbert revealed today that Webb secretly met with Dr. James Andrews in December, though Andrews said that his condition was just the result of normal pitching "wear and tear". That's the most comforting thing you could hear from James Andrews, but no visit to baseball's most noted orthopedic surgeon can really ease concerns.

Webb was roughed up in his first start, allowing six earned runs, two walks and two strikeouts in four innings, leaving his ERA at 13.50. The D-backs beat Colorado, 9-8, despite Webb's shaky outing.

Suddenly, Webb finds himself in a bit of a lose-lose situation, despite being one of the most durable pitchers in the game across recent seasons. The 29-year-old -- he'll be 30 next month -- is still young enough to land a big-time deal, but the combination of a sudden track record for shoulder problems and the economic recession could put his next pay day in jeopardy.

What do people think? Should the Diamondbacks have gone through with the deal despite Webb's shoulder issues? Or was pulling the offer a wise move in light of the recurrent shoulder stiffness?

By Cameron Smith  |  April 10, 2009; 1:56 PM ET
Categories:  Diamondbacks  
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