With the Chicago Cubs filling their biggest area of need this week by adding a left handed run producer in first baseman Carlos Pena, they now turn their attention to filling their pitching needs. The Chicago Cubs are looking to add a veteran starting pitcher along with a veteran reliever that can pitch in the later innings. Over the past few days, the Cubs have been linked to Starters Brandon Webb, Zach Greinke, Armando Galarraga, and Matt Garza and they also have been linked to relievers Jason Frasor, and Darren O’day.
According to a report from Paul Sullivan, rehabbing starter Brandon Webb remains the Cubs top target. The Cubs met with Webb’s representatives multiple times during the Winter Meetings. The Cubs are still checking their medical reports on Webb, if everything checks out, the Cubs will probably offer him an incentive laden contract. According to reports, the Cubs are one of the top two or three teams on Webb’s wish list.
Sullivan did acknowledge that the Chicago Cubs did meet with the Tampa Bay Rays to discuss a possible trade for Matt Garza, however Sullivan calls any deal unlikely considering the Rays want to keep Garza. To be honest, I would not rule out a Garza trade just yet. You have to keep in mind that Sullivan is a reporter, and he doesn’t want to ruin his credibility by saying the two sides are nearing a trade, or have discussed the parameters of a trade. Plus, you have to consider that the Rays may want to deal Garza in order to stay within their payroll. Garza earned $3.35MM last season and is in line for a big raise through arbitration.
If Brandon Webb is healthy, he would be a very good addition to the Chicago Cubs. However, considering that Webb has essentially missed each of the past two seasons, any team signing him would be taking a big risk. But as I said before, the Cubs are doing extensive medical research into Webb and making sure he is healthy before they offer him a contract. The last time Webb was healthy was in 2008, and he went 22-7 for the Arizona Diamondbacks.
If the medical reports do check out, the Cubs should without a question sign Brandon Webb. Because, Webb has the potential to be a Cy Young candidate when he pitches for an entire season. Also, he would be an ideal financial fit for the Chicago Cubs. Since, Webb’s recent struggles with injuries puts him in line for a one year deal that is filled heavily with incentives. Webb is scheduled to be ready to pitch by Spring Training.