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

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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.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.