Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch, in response to a reader’s question about why the Cardinals front office has been so quiet since the Holliday signing, says “Though the club won’t confirm talks, negotiations with Pujols are also taking up time.”
That’s got to be encouraging for Cards fans, though I wonder if any real progress can be made. As his representatives said earlier this week, he’s about to become a papa again, so you can’t assume he’s 100% engaged with anything apart from that. At the same time Pujols is on record as saying that he won’t negotiate during the season. It’s unclear if that means spring training too, but either way, there isn’t exactly a ton of time to make anything happen right now.
Of course it’s important to remember that Pujols is signed through 2011, not 2010. So while it would be nice to do a deal, it’s not essential that an extension gets done right this moment.
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.