Veteran pitcher Brandon Webb will throw a bullpen session Friday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to test the strength of his right shoulder.
If it goes well, according to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Webb will be sent to Double-A Frisco to make a rehab start on Monday evening.
The 32-year-old threw six solid innings Tuesday in an outing at extended spring training, allowing just one run while striking out six and issuing no walks. His fastball hit 84 MPH, up from the high-70s and low-80s readings that he was getting in April.
If Webb is cleared to report to Double-A Frisco on Monday, his 30-day rehab clock will then begin. He’ll have time to make five or six rehab appearances before the Rangers must make a decision about his future.
Webb hasn’t taken a mound in a major league game since the first week of the 2009 season.
The Red Sox signed catcher Christian Vazquez to a three-year, $13.55 million extension, per a team announcement on Saturday. The agreement will keep Vazquez under contract through the 2021 season and covers two years of arbitration eligibility and the catcher’s first year of free agency. It comes with a $7 million club option (and $250,000 buyout) for 2022 that could get bumped up to $8 million if he reaches 502 plate appearances in both 2020 and 2021. Vazquez has also volunteered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation as part of his new arrangement with the club.
The 27-year-old backstop is entering his fourth year with the Red Sox in 2018. He’s been a steady defender behind the dish over the last three years and was ranked fifth-best in defense among all American League catchers at the end of the 2017 season. He also enjoyed a breakout performance at the plate, slashing a career-best .290/.330/.404 with five home runs and a .735 OPS in 345 plate appearances.
Come Opening Day, Vazquez is expected to be the Red Sox’ primary option behind the plate, with veteran Sandy Leon and Blake Swihart poised to start in backup roles. Swihart is out of options, but has been groomed for a utility role this spring and could take a few reps in the left field and the infield corners if need be, as it doesn’t appear the club is prepared to trade him just yet.