Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports that the Diamondbacks are unlikely to re-sign free agent Brandon Webb after paying the former Cy Young winner $8.5 million to throw zero innings this season.
According to Magruder “the Diamondbacks have had no conversations with Webb about a new contract and they do not plan to initiate talks moving forward.”
Webb made just one start in 2009, but the Diamondbacks still exercised his $8.5 million option for this season and then got zero return on the investment. New general manager Kevin Towers has no history with Webb and clearly isn’t interested in taking another risk on the right-hander’s surgically repaired shoulder.
It’ll be interesting to see what type of market there is for Webb as a free agent, because while he’s still just 31 years old and finished first or second in the Cy Young balloting from 2006-2008 his fastball was clocked in the low-80s in a few instructional league appearances last month. He’ll likely have to settle for an incentive-laden one-year deal.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.