MLB

Source: Webb reaches deal with Rangers

Brandon Webb
Brandon Webb has pitched only four innings the past two seasons.
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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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For free-agent right-hander Brandon Webb, the choice wasn't easy.

Webb reached agreement Sunday on a deal with the Rangers, according to a source. The deal will become official once he passes a physical, which should happen early this coming week.

But he also strongly considered the Reds, a team that plays close to his home in Kentucky and offered several ties to his past.

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Webb, 31, has pitched only four innings the past two seasons due to shoulder issues. The Rangers are gambling that he can return to form.

Keith Meister, Texas’ team physician, performed a cleanup on Webb’s right shoulder in Aug. 2009. Manager Ron Washington and pitching coach Mike Maddux also were selling points for Webb. And, while the Rangers' ballpark is hitter-friendly, the other AL West parks - Anaheim, Oakland and Seattle - are more favorable to pitchers.

The extent of the Reds’ interest was not known. But Webb was close with the team’s pitching coach, Bryan Price, and trainer, Paul Lessard, from their days together with the Diamondbacks.

The Reds also are talking with free-agent outfielder Scott Podsednik and exploring possible upgrades over Paul Janish at shortstop, sources say.

Pitchers with shoulder injuries are considered high-risk by clubs. As one exec said Sunday, Mark Prior never recovered fully while Joaquin Benoit enjoyed a spectacular breakthrough last season.

AOL Fanhouse first reported the deal.

Tagged: Reds

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