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Cardinals may be favorites to land Webb

The Cardinals may be the favorites to land once great starting pitcher Brandon Webb.

He racked up a 70-37 record with a 3.23 ERA from 2005-08 with the Diamondbacks. But shoulder problems have limited him to four innings since then... Reports earlier this off-season indicated that Webb was struggling to reach 80 miles per hour when he threw for scouts. But there must be some reason for optimism with several teams expressing interest.

The Cubs and Nationals were eliminated from the running over the weekend, according to ESPN. That leaves the Rangers and an unidentified team in the NL. The ESPN report indicated that is not the Reds.

If the Cardinals did sign Webb, 32, I wonder if it would be for some sort of multi-year arrangement, at least a one-year deal with an option... Unless there is an injury, the Cardinals don't really have use for another starter. Even if Kyle Lohse is terrible in his latest comeback attempt from forearm trouble, he's probably going to be in the rotation as long as he is healthy because of his $11.75-million salary in 2011 (not to mention 2012.)

But Webb could pitch out of the bullpen in 2011 to build his arm strength with designs of adding him to the mix in the future -- either as a replacement starter or maybe he could be converted into closer if Ryan Franklin retires as expected.