Diamondbacks Trade Jacob Webb To Braves

Right-hander Jacob Webb is back with the Braves, who announced on Tuesday that they’ve reacquired Webb from the D-backs in exchange for cash. Arizona had designated Webb for assignment over the weekend. The Braves placed righty Collin McHugh on the injured list in a corresponding move. An injury designation was not announced, nor was a corresponding 40-man roster move. That suggests that McHugh has been placed on the Covid-related injured list.

Atlanta designated Webb for assignment during the first week of the season, and the D-backs, who had the No. 1 waiver priority at the time, quickly scooped him up. Webb hasn’t appeared in the big leagues yet this season and has spent most of the minor league season on the injured list, though he returned to the mound late last month. He’s been jumped for six runs in 5 1/3 innings so far on the season, but the 28-year-old righty has fanned seven of 26 opponents (26.9%) and recently turned in consecutive scoreless outings (one inning apiece).

Webb has spent parts of three seasons in the Majors with the Braves, pitching to a pristine 2.47 ERA in 76 2/3 frames overall. His 21.9% strikeout rate and 9.6% walk rate are both worse than the league average, though, and fielding-independent metrics suggest that number is due to regress. Be that as it may, Webb is an optionable 28-year-old who averages 94.5 mph on his heater and has a knack for inducing weak contact (career 88.1 mph exit velocity and 31.8% hard-hit rate). It’s not hard to see why the D-backs were interested once he hit waivers, nor is it difficult to see why Atlanta would work out a deal to bring him back once a bullpen need arose.

The Braves haven’t announced whether McHugh tested positive or is on the Covid list for other reasons, though David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets that McHugh indeed tested positive. MLB’s 2022 health regulations stipulate a 10-day absence, though a pair of negative PCR tests and approval from a trio of medical professionals (team doctor, league-appointed doctor, MLBPA-appointed doctor) can override that 10-day requirement.

In 23 2/3 innings with the Braves, McHugh has notched a solid 3.42 ERA with a strong 26.3% strikeout rate and an excellent 5.3% walk rate. He signed a two-year, $10MM contract with the Braves over the winter, and Atlanta holds a third-year option over McHugh as well.

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