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Webb's Season Is Done

Brandon Webb's season never really got going. Now it's already over.

According to this report in the Daily Independent in his native Ashland, Ky., Webb is scheduled to have surgery on his right, throwing shoulder today in Texas, an operation that will be performed by Keith Meister, the Rangers' team physician.

Webb pitched on Opening Day but was immediately sent to the disabled list after with stiffness in his shoulder. Extended rest didn't help cure the problem. Rehab exercises didn't help cure the problem. Eventually, only this surgery remained as an option, albeit one that will end the longtime Arizona ace's quest to make it back to the field some time in September.

The impending surgery also could be a costly one for Webb, whose 2010 contract option with the Diamondbacks costs $8.55 million. Arizona very well might still exercise that final year, but the team does hold a $2 million buyout, a clause that will look mighty attractive if Webb's initial rehab doesn't progress as planned.

For now, Arizona General Manager Josh Byrnes is being particularly tight lipped about Webb's future with his organization.

"We've still got in the neighborhood of 100 days before we have to make that decision," Byrnes said. "He's been tremendous pitcher for this organization and he's obviously a tremendous person within the walls of the organization. We're going to use all the information we can gather in the next 100 days or so to make the best decision."

Of course, the injury also makes Byrnes' decision to pull a three-year, $54 million extension offer off the table last August a particularly astute one. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal broke the news that Arizona backed out of the deal because of health risks this winter, claiming that the Diamondbacks couldn't secure an insurance policy for the pitcher's salary because of the wear and tear on his shoulder. The fact that the team backed out once because of an insurance liability certainly lends the impression that they'd be likely to back out of his 2010 option, too, doesn't it?

What do people think? Does Webb's shoulder injury justify buying out a guy who, when healthy, has been one of the best pitchers of the decade? Or should Arizona take a $6.5 million chance (the difference between his salary and buyout clause) on Webb returning to healthy form next season?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 3, 2009; 2:35 PM ET
Categories:  Diamondbacks  | Tags: Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks, cy young, injuries  
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Comments

Cameron - how does this injury compare to Shawn Hill's arm injuries? Barry used to compare Hill's sinker to Webb's. What I've heard is that Hill had a motion that enabled great motion on his sinker but which also contributed to arm stress. I think it had to do with his stride. Did Webb have the same quirk in his delivery?

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | August 3, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I think 6.5 million for Webb is a solid gamble. Let's face it, who else are they going to get to fill the void that's half as good as him when he's on?

Finding a decent fill in would likely cost 5 million in the off season, so if 1.5 more will get you Webb, in my opinion, it's worth it.

Posted by: adampschroeder | August 3, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

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