Webster signed a minor league contract with the Rangers on Tuesday that includes an invite to spring training. The right-hander wasn't exactly good in the KBO in 2016 (5.70 ERA, 1.68 WHIP), but the Rangers will give Webster a look, presumably as part of the competition for the final rotation spot. Webster's still just 26 but his body of work at the major league level suggests he's a long shot to earn a significant major league role in 2017.
Webster has won two of three starts for Samsung in the KBO, compiling a 4.26 ERA in 19 innings. The 25-year-old righty has struck out 22 batters while walking nine. Webster was released by Pittsburgh in December after being acquired from the Diamondbacks for cash considerations.
The Pirates are looking for pitching coach Ray Searage to work his magic with Webster, most likely as a right-handed arm out of the bullpen, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. "If we can help him get back on track, he can help our team in a variety of roles," GM Neal Huntington said. The Pirates have spots available in both the rotation and bullpen, but Webster is out of minor league options, meaning he could be lost to waivers if he doesn't make the club out of spring training.
Webster was dealt to the Pirates on Wednesday in exchange for cash considerations, Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. Webster, who was DFA'd by the Diamondbacks in November, dealt with shoulder fatigue early in the 2015 season, but he was given an opportunity to make a few starts in June. However, he allowed 15 earned runs over four starts, earning a trip back to the minors before returning to the big league club as a bullpen option later in the year. The 25-year-old will join Pittsburgh's 40-man roster, which is now at capacity.
Webster was designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks on Friday. The 25-year-old missed the cut out of camp, and battled shoulder fatigue in the early months of the season, but he got a chance in June when Josh Collmenter was bounced from the rotation. Webster did not fare well, allowing 15 earned runs in four starts, and later served primarily in a bullpen role after another stint in the minors. His 40-man spot was needed to protect a prospect from the Rule 5 draft.