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 White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.