Webb 'running out of time' to avoid disabled list

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Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch admitted today that “we are running out of time” for Brandon Webb to be ready for Opening Day, with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reporting that “it’s becoming more and more clear” that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list.
Webb hasn’t pitched since complaining of shoulder soreness on Opening Day of last season, eventually undergoing surgery in August after a series of setbacks. He threw a bullpen session last week, but said afterward that he felt “stagnant” while still insisting he’d be ready for the season. However, barring game action within the next week that seems highly unlikely.
“We’re going to need to see what he looks like next on the mound,” Hinch said. “You never know once he gets on the mound if we can speed things up as much as we slowed things down in the last week. He’s an important guy and an important ingredient to our rotation, but a healthy Brandon Webb is more important than an active Brandon Webb.”

Phillies owner John Middleton is in Las Vegas with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper
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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.

Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.

As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.