Most people suspected this already, but the Red Sox have officially decided that they’ll play the newly acquired in centerfield and shift Jacoby Ellsbury to left field. It makes sense: Cameron has played all of three games in left field — none of which with the Green Monster behind him — while Ellsbury has played 80 games there.
Of course, with the embarrassment of defensive riches the Red Sox have going into this season, they could probably stick one at catcher and hide one behind the second base bag like we used to with Kay from accounting during rec league softball, and they’d still be a defensively superior team. It’s like the positive version of moving deck chairs around on the Titanic, whatever that is.
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.