Brandon Webb and the Diamondbacks agreed to a $19.5 million, four-year deal on Friday, locking up the sinkerball specialist through his arbitration years. The 26-year-old right-hander set a career high with 14 wins last season, his third in the big leagues. He finished 14-12 with a 3.54 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 229 innings. "Brandon has certainly earned this contract," Arizona general manager Josh Byrnes said. "His three years thus far have been tremendous. He's really one of the more unheralded elite pitchers in baseball." The deal includes an $8.5 million club option for 2010 with a $500,000 buyout. The buyout would increase by $500,000 each time Webb finishes in the top five of the NL Cy Young voting during the first four years of the contract.
January 2006 - Arizona Diamondbacks Wiretap
Number One Pick Upton Signs With Arizona
Justin Upton, the 18-year-old shortstop who was the top pick in the 2005 major league amateur draft, agreed to a minor league contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks that includes a $6.1 million signing bonus payable over five years. Arizona announced the agreement Friday and said Upton will be introduced at a news conference Monday. The signing bonus is the largest in a minor league contract for a drafted player who was not a free agent, topping the $5.3 million outfielder Joe Borchard got when he signed with the Chicago White Sox in July 2000. "This is a significant step for our organization and we look forward to seeing this talented young man in uniform," general manager Josh Byrnes said. Upton follows another top young shortstop, Stephen Drew, who is expected to play for Triple-A Tucson in his second season in the Arizona organization. Upton hit .519 during his senior season at Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake, Va., with 11 home runs and 32 RBI in 54 plate appearances. He scored 29 runs and stole seven bases. Upton, 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, was selected Gatorade High School Player of the Year and was a consensus high school all-American. He gets $400,000 of the signing bonus upon approval of the contract, $400,000 at the end of the year, $1 million each in 2007 and 2008, $1.3 million in 2009 and $2 million in 2010.
Arizona Signs Byrnes To One-Year Deal
Outfielder Eric Byrnes has agreed to a one-year, $2.25 million contract with Arizona and promises to bring energy and enthusiasm to the Diamondbacks. Byrnes, 29, slumped to a .226 batting average in a nomadic 2005 season that had him playing for Oakland, Colorado and Baltimore. In 2004, Byrnes hit .283 for Oakland with 20 home runs and 73 RBIs. The Diamondbacks signed Byrnes to play center field, the position he loves most. "The opportunity to play center field was just huge for me. I've never really gotten a ton of opportunities," Byrnes said in a telephone interview Friday with The Associated Press. "I've always felt that was my best position."