D-backs Exercise Their Option on Webb

D-backs Exercise Their Option on Webb

As expected, the Arizona Diamondbacks exercised their $8.5 million option on ace pitcher Brandon Webb rather than pay him a $2 million buyout. The decision was only in question because of the shoulder surgery that Webb underwent in August.

Webb had arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder performed by Dr. Keith Meister on Aug. 4 in Arlington, Texas. Webb made one start last season, receiving a no-decision against the Rockies in the season opener, before being placed on the disabled list for the remainder of 2009.

"Since Brandon has recovered well from his surgery, we have decided to exercise his option," said general manager Josh Byrnes. "His accomplishments for our organization have been significant. We look forward to him returning to the mound."

The decision makes sense not only from talent and financial standpoints, but also in terms of reputation. Brandon Webb has been underpaid during his entire Arizona Diamondbacks tenure. Had the organization turned its back on him because of an injury, prospective free agents and draft picks might think twice about signing with Arizona. Furthermore, an already jaded fan base would have a hard time forgiving the organization if Webb put up Cy Young-caliber numbers with a rival team.

The three-time All-Star and 2006 Cy Young Award winner is 87-62 with a 3.27 ERA over 199 career games in parts of seven seasons. He enters the 2010 season ranked second in D-backs' history with 87 wins, 198 starts, 1,319.2 innings pitched, and 1,065 strikeouts, plus third with 15 complete games.

From 2006-2008, Webb garnered the most points (270) in the BBWAA's voting system for the Cy Young Award by finishing second twice and winning the Award once. Those finishes increased the buyout in his club option from $0.5 million to $2 million, making the decision to bring him back that much more of a no-brainer for the Diamondbacks.

"This has always been my first choice for sure to stay here," Webb said. "I'm comfortable here. I'm happy where I am at."

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