Cliff Lee, Brandon Webb Have Their Options Picked Up

The hot stove is on FIRE!!!

The champagne hasn’t dried yet in the Yankee locker room and we have already seen Mark Teahen and JJ Hardy get traded and the Angels re-sign Bobby Abreu.

This afternoon, we got some more hot stove news as two of the premier pitchers in baseball had their options picked up. One move was a no-brainer and the other move I was a little surprised by.

First, the no-brainer.

According to Todd Zolecki of, the Philadelphia Phillies have picked up Cliff Lee’s 2010 option for $9 million. Was there any doubt the Phillies wouldn’t pick up his option?

cliff lee

Lee had his option picked up by the Phillies

Lee has established himself as one of the top pitchers in baseball over the last two seasons. The 31-year-old lefty had his national coming out party in the 2009 postseason by going 4-0 with a 1.56 ERA in five starts.

He will go into the 2010 season as the Phillies’ ace and with the Phillies’ lineup, he should have no problem winning 15-20 games next year.

Thus, making him worth a lot more than $9 million to the Phillies. Good deal for them.

The second option that was picked up today, like I said, was a little bit surprising.

According to, the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up the $8.5 option for 2010 on Brandon Webb.

Webb pitched in exactly one game last year before being shut down for the season and eventually opted for shoulder surgery on his pitching shoulder. Before last season, Webb was one of the best pitchers in the National League–if not the best.

brandon webb

Webb is Hershiser Part 2

Webb won the Cy Young award in 2006 and in 2007 and 2008, he finished second.

I was a little surprised the Diamondbacks picked up his option because I figured they would decline the option and hope to sign him to an incentive laden deal. However, Webb is progressing nicely according to GM Josh Byrnes.

“He’s worked very hard since the surgery,” general manager Josh Byrnes said, “and we’re confident that he’ll return to be a very healthy, effective pitcher.”

Webb’s career is really starting to remind me of Orel Hershiser’s. Hershiser was a sinker-ball pitcher, who logged a lot innings, won a Cy Young, and in the middle of his career underwent rotator cuff surgery.

Sound familiar?

Hershiser was a good pitcher after the surgery, but never was the dominate pitcher he once was. I think Webb can be the same pitcher Hershiser was post-surgery.

That means a pitcher who can still log a lot of inning, strikes out few, has a high WHIP, but can still gut his way out to 10-15 wins.


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