MLB.com has a story up today about the “next wave” of shortstops. The “new guard” of “younger stars rising to the top at their position.” Bet you can’t wait to click through and find out who all these hot young talents are! Maybe you’ll find out about them before your fantasy draft and scoop them up before your opponents even know their names! OK, here goes!
Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Yunel Escobar, Jose Reyes and Erick Aybar.
Er, yeah. Ramirez and Tulowitzki are entering their fifth full seasons. Escobar his fourth. Aybar his fourth or fifth depending on how you count 2006. Reyes is entering his eighth. Sure, these guys still have a lot of baseball in them, but you’re not even a “rising star” at a bank or a law firm if you’ve been around eight years. You’re just a guy.
I suppose guys like Alcides Escobar and Starlin Castro aren’t ready to be called “the new guard” yet, but they’re closer to that than Jose Reyes is to being a “rising star.”
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.