Webb's Future With Arizona Is Uncertain

Webb's Future With Arizona Is Uncertain

Brandon Webb appears likely to return to the Diamondbacks in time for a few September outings from the bullpen, but his long-term future with the only organization he has known appears tenuous.

Agent Jonathan Maurer has said he will use the recent contracts signed by pitchers Ben Sheets, Brad Penny, and Rich Harden as a starting point when negotiations begin on a new deal for Brandon Webb, who will be a free agent this winter after playing out his $8.5 million option this year.

Those players signed deals worth at least $7.5 million this year, and that is a figure that the D-backs do not appear likely to reach after attending to their No. 1 priority: adding a veteran closer to stabilize the back end of the bullpen.

"We would certainly entertain bringing Webby back. He's meant a lot to the organization," D-backs president/CEO Derrick Hall said. "It would have to be a situation that makes sense for both. We don't like incentivized or performance-based deals, but if we are going to even entertain (bringing back) Webby, we would have to entertain that."

Webb is scheduled to throw a second simulated game Friday after throwing 52 pitches in a three-inning simulate game Sunday at AT&T Park in San Francisco, the first time he has thrown to hitters off a mound since feeling right shoulder soreness during his Opening Day start against Colorado on April 6, 2009.

The D-backs appear more likely to sign a more cost-friendly No. 5 starter -- such as Rodrigo Lopez, whom they picked up last winter -- to join Ian Kennedy, Joe Saunders, Barry Enright and Daniel Hudson in the rotation. Not that it has worked perfectly -- Lopez has not won since July 8 and leads the majors in home runs allowed with 32.

Sheets has a $10 million contract with Oakland this season, Penny is getting $7.5 million from St. Louis and Harden signed for $6.5 million with an $11 million option for 2011 that includes a $1 million buyout. All have had recent arm issues, like Webb, although none missed as much time as Webb.

At the same time, Webb has a better resume -- 87 victories in his first six seasons and finishes of first, second and second in the NL Cy Young Award voting from 2006 to '08.

"There are some good comparables out there, I think. That would be a place to start I think, for sure," Webb said.

DIAMONDBACKS 7, PADRES 4: Mark Reynolds hit his third home run in two games and Ian Kennedy beat the Padres for the second time in six days as the D-backs clinched the final series between the two by taking the first two games. Miguel Montero and Gerardo Parra, both left-handed hitters, had two-run hits -- Montero a double, Parra a single -- off San Diego left-handed specialist Joe Thatcher in a five-run fifth that made the difference in the game. Juan Gutierrez recorded his fifth save.


--3B Mark Reynolds has three home runs in the last two games, and for the second consecutive night, he hit one to right field. Tuesday's came in the second inning off RHP Kevin Correia. "He's had some success against me with the fastball and cutter away, and I was looking out there," said Reynolds, who also doubled off the wall in deep right-center at AT&T Park on Sunday. Reynolds has hit 104 home runs since the start of the 2008 season.

--SS Stephen Drew extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the D-backs' five-run fifth inning. Drew is 17-for-37 during his hitting streak, with six doubles and four home runs.

--RF Justin Upton (left shoulder irritation) was held out of the lineup one day after he was injured striking out on an awkward swing. Upton, who missed a game with a similar injury last season, did not undergo medical tests and is considered day-to-day. "It was a weird swing. Just late, and I was trying to catch up. The ball was on me," Upton said.

--1B Adam LaRoche (right leg) missed a second straight game but is likely to play on Wednesday against San Diego RHP Mat Latos, interim manager Kirk Gibson said. LaRoche tried to talk himself into the lineup Tuesday, "but that wasn't the smart thing to do," Gibson said. Despite missing the final two games of the month, LaRoche hit nine homers in August, a personal record for any month in his career. He also had 35 hits and 26 RBI in August.

--1B Adam LaRoche had a little fun with teammate 2B Kelly Johnson when he had the in-house sound system play the Weather Girls' "It's Raining Men" as Johnson approached the plate on his first two at-bats. "I owed him something from earlier in the year. That's just the beginning," LaRoche said. Johnson began laughing when he heard the song.

--The D-Backs will send seven players to the Arizona Fall League: RHP Josh Collmenter, RHP Bryan Shaw, RHP Daniel Stange, RHP Bryan Woodall, C Konrad Schmidt, OF A.J. Pollock, and OF Marc Krauss. Pollock suffered a fractured growth plate in his right elbow while making a diving catch in spring training and has not played this season while rehabbing his injury.

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