More developments here in the hunt for free agent right-hander Brandon Webb.
The NL Central “mystery” team that was mentioned earlier by ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark has been identified by Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com as the Cincinnati Reds. Rosenthal believes that Webb is now choosing between Texas and Cincinnati.
The 31-year-old righty knows Reds pitching coach Bryan Price and Cincy trainer Paul Lessard from their days together with the Diamondbacks, but he also has connections with Rangers medical director Keith Meister.
In the end, it’s going to come down to money. Which team will offer the 31-year-old right-hander more in base salary and more in performance-based incentives?
The Yankees have also been monitoring the negotiations and could always decide to swoop in with a last-minute proposal.
Webb is expected to decide on a landing spot within the next couple of days.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.