Jon Heyman’s latest SI column is chock full ‘o goodness:
It’s not in writing but Don Mattingly is basically Joe Torre’s heir-apparent in Los Angeles. Of course, most folks say he was the heir-apparent in New York too, but Torre leaving under a cloud and Mattingly’s domestic issues put a wrench in all of that. Here’s hoping that Mattingly, one of the game’s truly good guys, gets the gig in 2011 in a nice smooth transition.
Heyman talks about how amazing Mariano Rivera has been in the postseason. How he hasn’t discounted all of the numbers he cites for Rivera’s blatant spitballing is beyond me. I also hear that Rivera was in on that whole balloon boy scam too, so we should even be more skeptical.
Jim Riggleman is likely going to get the Nats job on a full time basis. Not very inspired — I had argued in favor of bringing in a new face — but maybe it’s best to keep some continuity until the team is truly on the upswing. I would be less than inspired if I were a Nats’ fan, but it’s a defensible decision, especially given how much change there has been in the front office. Give the new folks some time to get comfy with the team before making a move.
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.