Brandon Webb hasn’t thrown a pitch in the major leagues since Opening Day of 2009 due to nagging shoulder issues, but he hasn’t given up on the idea of a comeback.
According to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that the Twins will be among the teams in attendance for a throwing session by Webb after the holidays. He hopes to impress someone enough to receive an invite to spring training.
Webb’s last comeback was in 2011 after signing with the Rangers, but he struggled in the minors while showing diminished velocity. He eventually went down with more shoulder issues and required rotator cuff surgery last August. The 33-year-old right-hander was noncommittal about a comeback in September, but it sounds like he’s going to give it one last go.
Webb owns an 87-62 record and 3.27 ERA over seven seasons in the majors. He placed first, second and second in the National League Cy Young balloting from 2006-08.
The Mets signed left-hander Matt Purke to a minor league deal, the team announced Friday. Purke will also receive an invitation to spring training, where he could presumably beef up the club’s left-handed relief options alongside Jerry Blevins and Josh Smoker.
Purke has not appeared in the majors since 2016, when he was used in a dozen relief appearances by the White Sox. The 27-year-old racked up a 5.50 ERA, 6.0 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 in his first 18 innings with the team, and was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June to finish out the season. He spent the entire 2017 season in Triple-A as well, showing more promise with a 3.84 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 in 48 appearances.
While Purke may not amount to much more than a depth piece in New York’s ‘pen, the veteran lefty figures to be part of the Mets’ new bullpen-first strategy next year. Reports from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo indicate that the club will be focusing on improving their relief options in order to ease the workload of their starting pitchers, and will likely add a few more arms before the offseason comes to a close.