Veteran hurler Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a major league game since the start of the 2009 season because of chronic shoulder issues. But that hasn’t stopped teams from calling about the right-hander, who is now a free agent.
Sources told Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse this weekend that the Cubs are now in the running for Webb. The Dodgers and Nationals are also interested, and the Diamondbacks have some level of interest in re-signing him.
Chicago, though, almost seems like the best fit.
The Cubs could use a guy to slot in behind Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny. Webb might not be at his best anymore, but if he gets the velocity up on his sinker and continues to build arm strength, there is little doubt that he will be able to eat some innings.
Now it’s all about price. How much can a 31-year-old with a Cy Young Award to his name but a lack of recent experience command on the open market? He will almost certainly have to settle for a one-year contract, but the Cubs can always pack it with incentives and hope for the best.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.