It is official and soon it will be officially official. Brandon Webb will be a Ranger in 2011, assuming that his arm doesn’t fall off sometime before his arrival in Surprise, AZ*.
What does this mean for the future of the club? We probably won’t really know until this time next year.
I’ve read some stuff about Webb being a desirable pickup for a number of reasons. He’s had success in the past. He’s won a lot of games. He’s won a Cy Young. He’s a ground ball pitcher and The Ballpark is fly ball friendly. He’s not getting paid very much and he’s only signed for one year. He invented ice cream and rainbows. So on and so on.
I’ll reserve judgment until we see him pitch. I don’t think he’s going to be another Rich Harden, but I’m skeptical of him being what he was before his injury.
Now, I really don’t want this site’s first year to be a constant lamenting at Cliff Lee’s departure, but I need to deviate a bit here.
What leaves me scratching my head is Webb coming and Lee going. What I don’t understand is why Webb (and Harden before him) fit into the Rangers’ long-term plans and a guy like Cliff Lee didn’t.
I’ve read a lot about Jon Daniels’ tendency to look for those low-risk/possibly-high-reward players, which is not a bad way to go when a guy like Vlad Guerrero carries your team for the first two months of the season.
With a guy like Lee, though, you have a low-to-medium-risk/very-high-reward player that has shown you first-hand what he can do. Webb hasn’t pitched in two years, but Lee just pitched you into the World Series.
I’m not saying signing Webb was a bad idea, because it could lead to something great. I just don’t see where it can’t instead be Webb coming and Lee staying.
Still, I’m glad we’re seeing some movement. Dropping Webb in behind CJ and Colby helps me sleep better at night. As Joey Matschulat put it, though – “This is a decent start, but it can’t end here.”
For those that are interested, the Yankees haven’t slept in weeks. Cliff Lee seems to have been their only plan for the 2011 season. Now the team president is practically begging Andy Pettitte not to retire. Those poor, poor Yankee fans.
As a Ranger, Brandon Webb will wear number 33 as a tribute to a friend that died in 2006. I always appreciate the more human side of sports.
*For the baseball stupid, Surprise, Arizona is where the Rangers’ Spring Training is held.