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By Paul Francis Sullivan (Lead Baseball Writer): Follow @sullybaseball
Brandon Webb is retiring from major league baseball, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. This hardly seems like a monumental announcement this spring. Webb has been out of sight and out of mind since the beginning of the 2009 season. His official retirement notice is reminiscent of a band announcing their breakup long after they had their last hit.
But Brandon Webb’s career, brief as it was, was remarkable and also should be remembered the next time an ace pitcher looks for a long term extension.
As outlandish as it may sound now, Brandon Webb was putting together the beginning of a Hall of Fame career. This is not hyperbole.
The former University of Kentucky star was an 8th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000.
He shot up through Arizona’s farm system and by 2003, the 24 year old Webb was a major leaguer and finished 4th in the Rookie of the Year vote. He posted a 2.84 ERA over 180 2/3 innings, winning 10 games for an Arizona squad that finished third in the National League West.
By 2006, he became an elite pitcher. He led the league in wins, shutouts and ERA+ and had the top WAR for pitchers. He won the National League Cy Young Award and looked like he was just getting warmed up. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday November 29th, 2012
Bernie Olshansky (Baseball Writer):
It is not an outrageous thought that the San Francisco Giants, coming off their second World Series title in three years would not have a problem signing two key free agents. Angel Pagan was a fixture at the top of the lineup throughout the year and played a big part in helping the Giants reach the playoffs and World Series. Marco Scutaro, a trade deadline acquisition, provided the Giants with the boost they needed to leave the Dodgers in the dust in the NL West. Not to mention, Scutaro caught fire in the NLCS against the Cardinals and wound up NLCS MVP. Signing both of these guys would most likely make the Giants favorites for a Wild Card at the least. It could be hard to compete with the Dodgers for the West after the blockbuster trade that they made with the Red Sox, but Scutaro and Pagan could help. So, how likely is it that both free agents sign with the Giants and return for 2013? Also, why has this team been so quiet in pursuing other Free Agents so far?
Unfortunately for most Giants fans, not very likely. I see the Giants signing one or the other. Angel Pagan, coming off a great season, will undoubtedly ask for more than he’s worth. The Giants also have highly regarded prospect Gary Brown waiting in the wings. He is suited to man centerfield for years to come. Pagan is probably looking for at least four years, and Brown will most likely be ready by late 2013 or 2014. Pagan would probably demand somewhere around $10-12 million per year. He has been a great fit for the top of the Giants lineup, setting the table for Pablo Sandoval and Buster Posey. He led the league in triples and scored 95 runs, partially due to his great second half. Pagan’s speed is especially valuable in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park. Gary Brown also has great speed, so there will not be too much of a discrepancy in the defensive abilities once Brown is a Giant. What comes to my mind when I think about rewarding Pagan with a large contract is Aaron Rowand. The Giants made a huge mistake by giving Rowand a large contract after just one good year. Pagan, like Rowand at the time, has not had a streak of consecutive great years, so signing him for more than a few years could be risky.