SATURDAY: Webster is indeed heading abroad — the Samsung Lions of the KBO have announced that they’ve signed him along with righty reliever Collin Balester. Sung Min Kim of River Ave. Blues initially tweeted that Webster was headed to Korea. The 29-year-old Balester has a 5.47 ERA, 7.0 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9 in parts of five big-league seasons with Washington, Detroit and Cincinnati. He made 15 appearances with the Reds in 2015.
FRIDAY: The Pirates have released righty Allen Webster, as the team’s transactions page reflects and as Stephen Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. Webster had been acquired for cash after the Diamondbacks designated him for assignment.
Tim Williams of PiratesProspects.com first noted the unexpected change in Webster’s status on the Bucs’ transactions page, explaining that Pittsburgh did not seem to have an immediate need for a 40-man spot. That could mean that Webster is headed for an opportunity with an Asian club, as the Bucs had previously seemed set to give a chance this spring to the out-of-options right-hander.
Webster, 25, has long been seen as a rising power arm, but he’s struggled to make good on his promise in the majors. In 120 1/3 MLB frames over the past three years, he owns a 5.81 ERA with 5.7 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9.
While he had previously put up strong numbers in the upper minors, Webster was bombed to the tune of a 8.18 ERA over 15 Triple-A starts last year. It’s worth noting, too, that Webster’s average fastball velocity (in the majors) dropped to 91.5 mph in 2015 after clocking in at over 94 in his first season of MLB action.