3:10pm: Connolly reports that Webb’s contract contains a provision that requires the Orioles to pay his full salary regardless of when he is released. In other words, even if Webb rejects the outright assignment, they’ll still owe him the $2.75MM. As such, the Orioles can either place him on the roster or pay him to play elsewhere.
As Connolly notes, the team could look to trade Webb and eat a portion of his salary, but rival clubs would be unlikely to do so, considering he could be signed for the league minimum in the near future.
2:29pm: The Orioles placed right-hander Ryan Webb on outright waivers earlier this week, and he’s already cleared, reports Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (on Twitter). As Connolly notes, Webb’s $2.75MM salary was undoubtedly a major deterrent for any teams that may have otherwise had interest in claiming him based on his ability.
Because he has more than five years of Major League service, Webb will have the ability to reject an outright assignment and force the team to trade or release him. Webb was non-tendered by the Marlins following a strong 2013 season in which he posted a strong 2.91 ERA and 56.3 percent ground-ball rate in a hefty 80 1/3 innings of relief. There were some warning signs that he wouldn’t repeat his excellent ERA, as Webb averaged just six strikeouts per nine against three walks per nine, and both his .266 BABIP and 75 percent strand rate seemed due for some regression.
Still, the Orioles signed him to a relatively affordable two-year, $4.5MM pact that called for a $1.75MM salary in 2014 and a $2.75MM commitment this year. Webb was solid, if unspectacular in 49 1/3 innings for Baltimore last year, notching a 3.83 ERA (101 ERA+) with 6.8 K/9, 2.2 BB/9 and a diminished-but-above-average 48.7 percent ground-ball rate.