There's been a lot of debate about Webb's recent comments, and I had a lot of thoughts about this so I wanted to take the time to organize it all and write it in a Fanpost.
While there has been some criticism for Mauerer's e-mail to MLBTR, I actually don't think it was a terrible action. The point is, Maurer is publicly declaring his clients demands. I actually sort of appreciate this, as I wish the public had better knowledge of what goes on when the FO is bargaining with agents/players and what various offers are given/not taken, so that we as fans could better appreciate the decisions our FO is making.
It's also a smart move by Mauerer, because he's putting the onus on the FO. By publicly declaring that Webb's number one choice is AZ, and that he wants a contract comparable to what other injured free agents have gotten in the past, he's essentially saying he wants a fair market value price for Webb, and they are willing to give AZ the tiebreaker on similar offers. So, if some team out there completely overpays for Webb (say, 12 million base salary with incentives) then we as fans know that there was nothing the FO could have done about this. On the other hand, if some team gets Webb for 8 million, then we as fans know that if our FO wanted Webb, we could have done more. This is the bonus of transparency.
Would it be NICE if Maurer and Webb were to give us a hometown discount? Yes. But it's not really Maurer's job to be nice. It's his job to get Webb the most money possible.
Is 8 million for one year of webb overpriced? Maybe. Let's take a look at just this year's injury high risk high reward starters.....(granted small sample size). Five starters (Sheets, Harden, Penny, Hudson, Webb) were basically offered a combined 40 million. Combined, they generated 7 WAR (almost entirely generated by tim hudson, going by BR's WAR), so worth 28 million dollars. Divided by five, means that a fair price is probably 6 million dollars (ironically, the amount we paid webb by picking up his option this year), which does mean that the market overprices injury risk pitchers compared to normal pitchers. However, this 2 million overprice really isn't as big of a deal when you think about it. Let's assume that 20% of injury risk pitchers go back to their 5-6 WAR forms. I feel that is reasonable, though it is influenced by this year's sample. Maybe the probability is a lot lower. The point is, teams who take on this risk don't really care about the 80% of the time the investment doesn't pan out. Because, normally in those instances, spending 8 million dollars elsewhere would not have transformed the team into a playoff contender. Can you imagine a different way for the Dbacks to spend 8 million dollars and contend next year? If not, why not spend it on Webb and take a shot at 10-20% chance at contention, rather than 0% of contention? Moreover, even if the injury risk pitcher doesn't go back to 5-6 WAR form, but still pitches at 2-3 WAR form, then the team just got another asset to trade at the deadline, which will help recover part of the cost of getting the pitcher in the first place.
This is why I would argue that it makes sense for teams in the Dbacks position to take on an injury risk pitcher who used to dominate, and is striving to build up value for a long-term contract.
The only reason why I could see a team like the Dbacks NOT spending the 8 million, would be because we want to allocate 15-20 million on a premiere free agent, and we don't want to waste part of our budget on a risk. However, I highly doubt the Dbacks want to do this, so I'd rather them spend that 8 million and give us a chance at contending, than not spend the money and be mediocre while only spending $45 million.