01/03/2011 3:25 PM ET
Rangers sign RHP Brandon Webb and LHP Arthur Rhodes to one-year contracts for 2011 season
Rhodes deal includes club option for 2012; C Max Ramirez and LHP Clay Rapada designated for assignment
The Texas Rangers announced today that the club has signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Webb and left-handed pitcher Arthur Rhodes to one-year contracts for the 2011 season. Rhodes' deal includes a club option for 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed, per club policy. To make room on the 40-man roster for Webb and Rhodes, the club has designated catcher Max Ramirez and left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada for assignment.
Webb, 31, has gone 87-62 with a 3.27 ERA over 199 games/198 starts in his big league career, all with Arizona. He was originally selected by the Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 2000 June draft out of the University of Kentucky. His last major league appearance was on April 6, 2009 vs. Colorado, which was Arizona's Opening Day that year. He had right shoulder surgery performed on August 3, 2009 by Rangers Team Physician Dr. Keith Meister at the Medical Center of Arlington.
Among active pitchers with at least 1000.0 innings, Webb's average of 0.63 home runs allowed per 9 innings (92 HR/1319.2 IP) ranks second behind only the Yankees' Mariano Rivera (0.49 HR/9 IP).
Webb won the 2006 National League Cy Young Award after going 16-8 with a 3.10 ERA (81 ER/235.0 IP) in 33 games/starts that year. He also finished second in N.L. voting for that award in both 2007 and 2008, recording a career-high 22 wins in 2008. Webb tossed at least 200.0 innings for 5 straight seasons from 2004-08, including over 225.0 frames over the final 4 years of that span. He has 15 career complete games and 8 shutouts. A three time All-Star (2006-07-08), his only postseason action came with Arizona in 2007, going 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA (5 ER/13.0 IP) in 2 starts.
Rhodes, 41, was an All-Star in 2010 for the first time in his 19-year career, going 4-4 with a 2.29 ERA (14 ER/55.0 IP) in 69 appearances for a Cincinnati club that won the N.L. Central Division. He had a scoreless streak of 33 games and 30.0 innings from April 13-June 26, 2010, matching the most consecutive appearances without allowing a run in major league history. Over the last 3 seasons since having "Tommy John" ligament transplant surgery, Rhodes has gone 9-6 with a 2.32 ERA (37 ER/143.2 IP) and 1.093 WHIP in 196 relief appearances with Seattle, Florida, and Cincinnati. His 2.32 ERA from 2008-10 ranks 8th in the majors among qualifying relievers in that span (minimum 93.0 innings).
A Waco native, Rhodes has gone 84-66 with a 4.06 ERA in 849 games/61 starts in his big league career. He ranks third among active players in appearances behind only Trevor Hoffman (1035) and Rivera (978). Almost three-quarters (74.7%) of his career appearances have come in the American League. He has pitched for 5 different postseason teams, allowing runs in just 4 of 21 career playoff appearances.
Ramirez, 26, batted .217 with 2 home runs and 8 RBI in 28 games with Texas last season, spending one stint with the club from April 27-July 1. He spent the rest of the year at Oklahoma City (AAA), batting .286 with 3 homers and 29 RBI in 56 games. He made his major league debut with Texas in 2008 after being acquired from Cleveland in exchange for outfielder Kenny Lofton on July 27, 2007.
Rapada, 29, posted a 1.82 ERA (12 ER/59.1 IP) over 50 games with Oklahoma City (AAA) in 2010, then made 13 relief appearances with Texas as a September call-up. He was on the Rangers American League Championship Series roster and made 3 appearances in that series.
The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release, or outright both Ramirez and Rapada to the minor leagues. With these moves, the Rangers still have a full 40-man roster.