There’s no longer room in the Phillies’ bullpen for Chad Durbin, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that three straight trips to the playoffs with Philadelphia has the free agent right-hander unwilling to sign with a non-contender.
According to Rosenthal he’s gotten multiple offers “from projected non-contenders” but is “holding out for a club with a better chance to reach the postseason.”
Of course, with the start of spring training right around the corner Durbin may have to lower his standards in a hurry. Rosenthal doesn’t pass along any information about which teams are interested in Durbin, but speculates that the Rays, Twins, Marlins, and Brewers “are among the other contenders that may want to add another reliever.”
Durbin tossed 226 innings with a 3.62 ERA in three seasons for the Phillies, including a 3.80 ERA and 63/27 K/BB ratio in 69 innings last year. He’s a solid middle reliever or secondary setup man, but it looks like he’ll have to accept a minor-league deal at this point.
Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.
Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.
Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.