Brandon Webb’s “goal” is to be ready by Opening Day

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Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since Opening Day of 2009, yet the former Cy Young winner still isn’t certain he’ll be recovered enough from shoulder surgery to begin the season in the Rangers’ rotation.

Asked if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, Webb told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com:

I set timetables last year and it was a little bit unrealistic. I sure hope I’m going to be ready full go. To be there Opening Day, that’s my goal for sure. That’s very reachable, but I have to see how things go.

And here’s what general manager Jon Daniels had to say about Webb’s timetable:

We have same goal of Brandon pitching meaningful innings. We’d love for him to be ready by Opening Day, but we’re going to keep our eye on the big picture and on what’s best for him.

Webb’s uncertain status is why his one-year deal with the Rangers is worth “only” $3 million in guaranteed money after he earned $15 million in the past two seasons. He can make an additional $5 million in incentives.

Brandon Webb’s one-year deal with Rangers worth $3 million plus incentives

Brandon Webb dugout
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No official details yet on Brandon Webb’s one-year contract with the Rangers, but Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the deal is worth around $3 million in guaranteed money plus undisclosed incentives.

Webb earned $6.5 million to make one start in 2009 and then the Diamondbacks picked up his $8.5 million option for 2010 only to get zero innings for their money.

Early in the offseason there were reports of Webb seeking a one-year deal for similar guaranteed money, but clearly after one shoulder surgery and two lost seasons no one was going to commit $7-8 million upfront.

Getting him for $3 million is a worthwhile gamble for the Rangers, who’ll gladly pay whatever incentives are built into the deal if Webb can come anywhere close to the dominant ace from 2003-2008.

UPDATE: Jerry Crasnick says the incentives could push the total value to around $8-10 million.

Rangers sign reliever Arthur Rhodes to one-year contract

Arthur Rhodes
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Texas has agreed to a one-year contract with Arthur Rhodes, according to Steve Phillips of AOL Fanhouse, who reports that the deal also includes a vesting option for 2012 after the veteran left-hander made his first All-Star team this year at age 41.

Rhodes was classified as a Type A free agent, but because the Reds didn’t offer him arbitration the Rangers won’t have to give up a draft pick to sign him.

He had a 2.29 ERA and 50/18 K/BB ratio in 55 innings for Cincinnati, marking Rhodes’ third straight season with an ERA below 3.00. He held left-handed hitters to a .172 batting average during that three-year span and also allowed right-handers to hit just .232 to show that he’s capable of more than left-handed specialist duties.