Tigers trade rumors: Ryan Webb a realistic addition

Drew Hallowell

The Marlins right-hander is available, but will he fix the Tigers' bullpen woes? The answer seems to be "no."

Ryan Webb might be the more realistic acquisition from the Marlins if the Tigers want to make another trade with the Fish. He's putting together another successful season, and reports have started he's more likely to be traded than their closer, Steve Cishek.

Stats

YEAR ERA SIERA K% BB% HR/FB% BABIP
2013 3.41 4.58 15.2 11.7 3.3 .286
CAREER 3.44 3.64 16 8.7 5.7 .317

(SIERA: Skills Interactive Earned Run Average; BABIP: Batting Average on Balls in Play.)

Stats via FanGraphs.com (updated June 24)

Contract Details

Webb is currently being paid a touch under $1 million. He enters his second year of eligibility this offseason and can become a free agent after 2015. (Cot's)

Background

The 27-year-old journeyman spent time with both the A's and Padres organizations -- he was actually traded from San Diego to Miami in the Cameron Maybin deal. Webb is a sinkerballer -- about half the time batters put the ball on the ground. He throws a fastball in the low-90s to go along with a slider and occasionally-used changeup. The fastball average 93.8, down a little bit since last year. The Marlins often deploy him when runners are on the bases, and he's been known to make a few multi-inning appearances. For his career about one in three inherited runners have scored, though this year that rate is down to one in four. His splits are quite apparent though: left-handed batters have an OPS-against of .791.

Why he fits the Tigers

They need bullpen help -- but don't necessarily need to go out and grab the best closer on the market. They've had issues with right-handers in the pen remaining effective. Beyond current closer Joaquin Benoit, every pitcher has experienced some sort of issues. Mixing him with Phil Coke (who can't get righties out) might make for a good combo, though Jim Leyland seems unlikely to platoon players in that way.

Why he doesn't fit the Tigers

It might be nice to find a pitcher who can get batters from both sides of the plate out a bit better. You might prefer to see if the team can get the job done internally -- maybe give Bruce Rondon a fair shake before acquiring a player like Webb.

How likely is a trade?

The Marlins are said to be interested in moving him. The Tigers could acquire him. MLB.com's Jason Beck reports the Tigers scouted him (along with Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who seems less likely to be moved) during a recent Marlins-Giants series in San Francisco.

What the Tigers should give up

This doesn't seem like a player who should cost much more than some middling pitching prospect the team won't miss.

Team blog thoughts

Michael Jong of Fish Stripes told us:

Webb is a more dicey player, given that his skillset has fallen apart since arriving in Miami two seasons ago. He never struck out hitters (career 16.0 percent strikeout rate) but in the past, he used to lean on his ground balls (60.9 percent ground ball rate in 2011). Now, he has dipped underneath 50 percent on his ground balls and still cannot miss bats, making him a middling choice.

Webb is eminently available because he will be entering his second arbitration season, and the Marlins would likely take a low-minors flyer with questionable potential but no real name for Webb's services. He fits in the seventh inning middle relief role, but he is not much better than that.

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