I guess J.P. Ricciardi still is, but he has apparently farmed out the communications function to Cito Gaston:
When asked earlier this week about his plans for next season, Jays catcher and soon-to-be free agent Rod Barajas said he didn’t have any yet, but that he would love to return to Toronto . . . He said he hadn’t talked to anyone from the team about returning in 2010 but expected those discussions to begin next month.
That’s why it jarred him yesterday morning to learn that manager Cito Gaston didn’t think the team had plans to bring him back. “I don’t think anybody (in the organization) has tried to sign him,” Gaston said. “He’s going to be out there (on the free-agent market).”
Not suprisingly, Barajas isn’t very pleased to hear of the Jays’ plans for him this way.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see both Ricciardi and Gaston fired after the season. Wouldn’t it be cool if they were informed of this by Rod Barajas?
The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.
Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.
Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.