Friday, March 12, 2004
Webb rewarded after filling in for Big Unit
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Arizona signed right-hander Brandon Webb to an incentive-laden three-year contract Friday that Jerry
Colangelo said sends a message to Diamondbacks fans.
"Our fans should know that we are committed to building and
adding to a young roster," the Diamondbacks' managing general
partner said. "We have a blend of both veterans and young players.
And Brandon is not only the future, he's the present."
Webb, 24, was 10-9 in his rookie season last year with an
impressive 2.84 ERA in 28 starts. Called up from Double-A Tucson
after Randy Johnson went on the DL with a sore knee, he struck out
172 in 180 2-3 innings and walked only 68.
The contract guarantees $3.3 million over the first three years,
with a club option on a fourth. Meeting most of the incentives
would make the deal worth almost $10 million.
"It makes me want to work that much harder to prove to fans and
prove to people that I deserve this," Webb said.
He said he does not expect any problems with added pressure to
"I'm not going to focus too much on it, just go out there and
pitch my game like I did last year and get people out and win
ball games for us."
General manager Joe Garagiola said the deal contained several
"This contract contains a lot of provisions," Garagiola said.
"I don't know if they're unique. But they certainly go beyond the
run-of-the mill contract, which allows the contract to be
responsive to what Brandon does out there on the field."
Giving a guaranteed long-term deal to a second-year player is
"One thing I know for sure is we're going to get a maximum
effort out of Brandon every time he takes the ball," said manager
Bob Brenly. "And that's really all you can ask. I appreciate his
consistency of effort. I know we're going to get that every time
Brandon goes out there."
With Johnson back and apparently healthy, Webb could give the
Diamondbacks a formidable rotation.
"On a different pitching staff without a Randy Johnson, he
might be the guy you consider the ace to build the staff around,"
"Certainly Randy is that guy for this team. But now with
Brandon in the fold for the foreseeable future ... I consider
myself very fortunate to have two guys that are the kind of guys
you build rotations around."