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.
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.