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.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.