Earlier today we passed along word of Brandon Webb saying that he’d like to come back to Arizona and that he’d be content with some kind of incentive-laden deal. This must have given his agent a conniption fit, because he just came out with a slightly different statement, in the form of an email sent to MLBTR.
The upshot: let’s not be too hasty! Webb is gonna play the market and his contract next year should have a base salary in with what Rich Harden, Tim Hudson, Brad Penny and Ben Sheets got this year, baby! That would put him at anywhere between $7.5-10 million.
Sure, dude, whatever. All of those guys except Sheets actually showed that they were healthy and at least somewhat effective before the 2010 season began, which is something Webb is unlikely to do before 2011. And the one guy who couldn’t — Sheets — ended up being one of the bigger free agent busts this season.
I suppose it’s not impossible to imagine a team willing to give Webb close to eight figures plus incentives for 2011 based on a couple of September mopup appearances (at best). I just don’t think it’s anywhere close to likely.
But then again, he’s Webb’s agent, so what would you expect him to say?
Update (7:01 PM EDT): David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the deal has been completed.
ESPN’s Keith Law reported on Saturday evening that a bad contract swap involving the Braves’ Hector Olivera and the Padres’ Matt Kemp was “getting close.” Olivera has been pulled off the field, per Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that only a last-second medical would kill the deal at this point, and that the Padres will be sending money to the Braves.
Kemp, 31, will have $64.5 million remaining on his contract through 2019 after this season, but the Dodgers will pay $3.5 million annually over those remaining three years, so the $64.5 million is really $54 million. The veteran has compiled a .262/.285/.489 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 69 RBI in 431 plate appearances for the Padres this season.
Olivera, 31, will have $28.5 million remaining on his contract through 2020 after this season. The outfielder was handed an 82-game suspension, beginning on May 26, for his involvement in a domestic dispute on April 13. The suspension is up on August 2. He has a .501 OPS in 21 major league at-bats this season and a .278 OPS in 37 PA at Triple-A.
Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres will consider designating Olivera for assignment. The trade is all about the salary dump for the Padres, as they’d rather give outfield playing time to prospects Hunter Renfroe and Manuel Margot.
The Athletics and Royals swapped outfielders on Saturday. The Athletics sent Billy Burns to Kansas City and the Royals sent Brett Eibner to Oakland.
Burns, 26, doesn’t provide much in the way of offense, but he runs the bases well and plays solid defense. He was hitting .234/.270/.303 with 11 doubles, four triples, and 14 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances.
Eibner, 27, was batting .231/.286/.423 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 85 plate appearances. He has spent most of the season with Triple-A Omaha, where he’s put up a .902 OPS in 219 PA. Eibner played the outfield corners in the majors, but racked up a ton of time playing center in the minors, so his versatility will be valuable to the A’s.
Burns will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the 2017 season while Eibner has hardly accrued any service time, which might explain part of the motivation behind the trade for the small-market Athletics.