Cubs have interest in free agent Brandon Webb

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Veteran hurler Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a major league game since the start of the 2009 season because of chronic shoulder issues.  But that hasn’t stopped teams from calling about the right-hander, who is now a free agent.

Sources told Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse this weekend that the Cubs are now in the running for Webb.  The Dodgers and Nationals are also interested, and the Diamondbacks have some level of interest in re-signing him.

Chicago, though, almost seems like the best fit.

The Cubs could use a guy to slot in behind Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny.  Webb might not be at his best anymore, but if he gets the velocity up on his sinker and continues to build arm strength, there is little doubt that he will be able to eat some innings.

Now it’s all about price.  How much can a 31-year-old with a Cy Young Award to his name but a lack of recent experience command on the open market?  He will almost certainly have to settle for a one-year contract, but the Cubs can always pack it with incentives and hope for the best.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.