Brandon Webb last appeared in a big league game on Opening Day in 2009 and has undergone a series of major shoulder procedures since. But the 32-year-old is still fighting — still trying to make it back.
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Webb is planning to throw for major league teams “sometime in March” in the hopes of landing a minor league contract and invitation to spring training.
The right-hander was struggling to hit 85 mph on the radar gun at last check and no longer possesses the effectiveness on his sinker that led him to the 2006 National League Cy Young Award (and second-place finishes in ’07 and ’08). But it’s feasible that he could land a camp invite if he displays good health and improved velocity in his March workout.
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.