USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets “Brandon Webb’s
rehab is going well, but the Dbacks don’t plan to pick up his $8.5
million option. They will try to negotiate a 1-year deal.”
The problem with a 140-character limit is that it prevents a guy like Nightengale from explaining why a team would pass up on the chance at a healthy Webb for $6.5 million. And it is only $6.5, because if they decline the option they’re still on the hook for the $2 million buyout. Yes, the guy had surgery, but if he’s even remotely effective next year — and it’s not like he’s coming off of Tommy John surgery here — he’s a bargain at $6.5.
I suppose the Dbacks could know something about his health that we don’t know, but if so, why then would they be trying to do a 1-year deal rather than just letting him walk? And how much cheaper is that 1-year deal likely to be? If they screw him into the ground and no one else is interested, the best they can probably do is $3-4 million, right? If they do that and if he does turn in a bounce back season, they have effectively alienated one of the better pitchers in the NL over a lousy couple million bucks.
Nightengale was at the Dodger-Dbacks game last night so you have to figure he based this nugget on an actual conversation, but I still can’t help but think that Arizona will pick up the option.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.