GM: Toronto open to re-signing Scutaro, Barajas

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Last month manager Cito Gaston indicated that catcher Rod Barajas wouldn’t be back in Toronto next season, but new general manager Alex Anthopoulos said yesterday that he’s interested in re-signing both Barajas and fellow free agent Marco Scutaro.
Blue Jays fans are free to interpret that as a sign Gaston himself might not be back in 2010, but it’s worth noting that along with saying “we like both players” and “we’d like to bring them both back” Anthopoulos added “but we can’t make a bad deal.” In other words, there’s a big difference between being open to re-signing a player and being open to re-signing a player at market value.
Re-signing Barajas figures to be the easy part thanks to his .661 OPS, although certainly as a veteran catcher with good power it’s possible that some team will overpay via a multi-year deal. On the other hand there’s little doubt that Scutaro is about to cash in on the open market following a career-year that saw him hit .282/.379/.409 with 12 homers, 35 doubles, 14 steals, and 90 walks while starting 143 games at shortstop.
My guess is that Barajas will only be back in Toronto if he’s willing to accept a modest one-year deal and Scutaro will find his big payday elsewhere, because handing out multi-year contracts to a pair of 34-year-olds likely isn’t how Anthopoulos wants to kick off his tenure as J.P. Ricciardi’s replacement.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.