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.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.