Cito Gaston, on the Blue Jays’ closer situation:
“It’s going to be between [Scott Downs and Jason Frasor] and anybody else that Alex brings into camp.”
I get what he’s saying — the Jays may, for example, bring in Kevin Gregg before the end of the day — but there has to be better way way of saying it than that, because the way Gaston said it makes it sound like he’d rather have any warm body closing than Downs or Frasor. Seems like the right tack for a manager would be to limit his assessments to the guys who are actually on the team and leave the speculating to the front office people.
That quibble aside, smart guys I know think that Downs is the much smarter play at closer than Frasor due to the fact that (a) he’s a lefty who could be dealt at the deadline if he does well; and (b) he gets more ground balls than Frasor.
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.