Diamondbacks exercise Brandon Webb's $8.5 million option

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Shoulder problems limited Brandon Webb to just one start this season and he underwent surgery in August, leading to speculation that the Diamondbacks weren’t planning to exercise his $8.5 million option for 2010.
However, when Webb made it very clear that he wasn’t interested in working out a new deal the Diamondbacks were faced with a tough decision. They either had to take an $8.5 million risk on Webb being somewhat healthy next season or let him hit the open market, where he seemed highly unlikely to re-sign with Arizona.
This afternoon Arizona made what was probably the right call, picking up Webb’s option and keeping their longtime ace around for at least another year. Webb has not been cleared to resume throwing yet after going under the knife, but barring setbacks he’s expected to be ready for spring training and obviously when healthy he’s worth far more than $8.5 million.
Certainly he’s a huge risk and given his uncertain status the Diamondbacks may have just flushed $8.5 million down the toilet, but if they wanted any chance of keeping Webb in 2010 and beyond picking up his option was … well, their only real option.

Ken Giles: ‘I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston’

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Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”

Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”

Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.