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Manager: D’backs out to keep ace Webb

Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona Diamondbacks ace Brandon Webb and general manager Josh Byrnes agree on one thing, at least. They don’t want to talk about Webb’s hazy future with the club.

Webb joined the rest of the Arizona pitchers and catchers for their first spring workout on Sunday at Tucson Electric Park, then deflected questions about whether he will get a new contract.

“Basically I’ve got two more years here in Arizona and then we’ll go from there,” he said after participating in a long-toss session before making an early exit to attend the NBA All-Star Game in Phoenix. “Other than that, that’s where we stand.”

Webb, 29, is under contract through the end of this season, with the Diamondbacks holding a club option for 2010. He is set to make $6.5 million in 2009 and $8.5 million in 2010, assuming the team exercises its option for the extra year. That’s a bargain for a pitcher who has been one of the best in the National League.

Byrnes said the poor economy will play a role in how teams approach business decisions in the near future, but the organization is committed to trying to keep Webb at the front of its rotation beyond 2010.

“Certainly the top players this year did well in the market and this is a guy who won a Cy Young and been runner-up two years in a row,” Byrnes said. “But it illustrates a lot of things happen over time that affect what clubs can do and what the market can do. We’ll see.”

In 2008, Webb and the Diamondbacks seemingly reached an agreement on a three-year, $54 million extension, but the organization pulled the deal off the table.

“Like Webby has (said), I think it’s probably unfair to him and the process to talk about it all the time,” Byrnes said. “It’s an important decision. We do have two years of contract left on him. We take that decision very seriously.”

Webb has been the staff’s workhorse, throwing more than 200 innings each of the past five seasons.

“We have him for two more years,” manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s not like this is his last year.”

Manager: Club committed to keeping ace Webb


Spring training dates for the Diamondbacks and Rockies:

Wednesday: All players report.

Feb. 25: Opener, D’backs at Rockies, 1:05 p.m., Hi Corbett Field

Feb. 26: White Sox at Rockies, 1:05 p.m., Hi Corbett; D’backs at Indians, 1:05 p.m., Goodyear

Feb. 27: White Sox at D’backs, 1:05 p.m., Tucson Electric Park; Rockies at Angels, 1:05 p.m., Tempe

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