ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has an excellent article on Diamondbacks starter Brandon Webb, who appears primed for a big contract year after missing nearly the entire 2009 season due to shoulder issues. It's easy to forget how dominant Webb was prior to '09; his agent Jonathan Maurer considers the pitcher a "quiet superstar."
Webb is up for free agency after the season, and like most players, he's looking for the best contract possible:
"Obviously you want to see what's out there and do the best deal you can for yourself and your family. That's probably No. 1. We've had a great time in Arizona, and if everything works out and we stay here, that would be good. But to get back close to home [in Kentucky] would be just as good. I'm definitely keeping it open. I'm not going to hold myself down to just Arizona."
D'Backs GM Josh Byrnes would only admit that it'd be "challenging" to sign Webb long-term. Though next year's free agent starting pitching class looks strong, a return to form could have him searching for a deal north of $80MM. Webb will turn 32 in May of 2011.
If Webb focuses on playing close to home, we can probably rule out the West Coast teams. Cincinnati would be closest, followed by Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Detroit, and Washington, D.C.