Phil Hughes throws from 100 feet, but “trying not to get caught up in the scheduling of everything”

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Phil Hughes threw from 100 feet for about 10 minutes yesterday in front of pitching coach Larry Rothschild and reported no problems afterward.

Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that there’s still no timetable for Hughes’ return from the “dead arm” that sent him to the disabled list in mid-April and he hasn’t even been cleared to throw off a mound yet.

Hughes told Hoch that he’s “trying not to get caught up in the scheduling of everything” while he tries to strengthen his arm.

At this point a best-case scenario would seemingly have him returning in late June or early July, but he still has quite a few hurdles to clear before that’s even a possibility.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.