Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Pirates are interested in pitcher Brandon Webb of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Webb, of course, was one of the best and most durable pitchers in baseball before his shoulder gave out in 2009. Webb is the latest in a string of pitchers with injury problems – Justin Duchscherer, Jeff Francis – in whom the Pirates have expressed interest. They’ll probably look to grab a couple of player like this and hope for a productive season out of one of them, then look to trade that player at the deadline, by which time prospects like Bryan Morris and Rudy Owens should be available to fill out the rotation.
Any pitcher who has missed nearly two years with shoulder problems, as Webb has, is clearly a huge gamble, but he has very nice upside if he can get his sinker working again. Webb won the National League Cy Young award in 2006 and has a 3.27 career ERA. Even given his serious injury issues, he’s much more interesting than the typical Pirates free agent.