Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks are toying with the idea of using Brandon Webb in the bullpen towards the end of this season. And it would be the end of this season, because he’s still not even pitching against live batters yet in a rehab stint that has lasted nearly as long as Bob Dylan’s most recent Tour.
If I’m the Diamondbacks, though, I don’t go out of my way or anything. The competitive portion of their season is already over and Webb is a free agent after this season. Any innings they give him will mean virtually nothing for the team. They’ll only serve as a showcase of Webb’s health and effectiveness (or lack thereof) to potential suitors this winter.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.