Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley is healthy again

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Diamondbacks prospect Archie Bradley would probably already be in the majors if not for being shut down with an elbow injury in late April, but the 21-year-old right-hander is healthy enough to make a minor-league rehab start yesterday.

It wasn’t an official regular season game, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Bradley tossed three innings in a rookie-ball exhibition versus Reds minor leaguers. According to Piecoro he allowed one run, struck out three, and was clocked at 93 miles per hour, which is very good news.

Bradley will likely be assigned to a regular minor-league team–presumably Triple-A–later this month, and then if he pitches well there while staying healthy the clock on his MLB debut can begin ticking again. Coming into the season Baseball America ranked Bradley as their ninth-best prospect.

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.