SI’s Jon Heyman writes that, despite the fact that that all of the other teams that need a left fielder are not really interested in Jason Bay, there is a “mystery team” in the running for him, making life harder for the Mets. At the risk of falling into conspiracy theory land, I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that, even though he is not Bay’s agent, Scott Boras is inventing the “mystery team.” My thinking:
- The Mets are widely reported to have focused on Bay over Holliday because they think he’ll be easier to sign;
- Boras needs the Mets to jump into the Matt Holliday derby, because his dude needs to get paid crazy Omar money or at the very least needs to use them to leverage the Cardinals;
- By creating a rumor of a “mystery team,” the only advantage Bay has over Holliday — his alleged signability — is neutralized, thereby making Holliday more appealing to the Mets.
So that’s my theory. The mystery team is a fantasy. And you can’t doubt me on that. I got it from an anonymous source whose identity is, like, a total mystery.
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.