Will the Reds have room for Alonso and Votto?

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Yonder Alonso was the seventh overall pick in the 2008 draft and has since emerged as Cincinnati’s best prospect by hitting .293/.378/.459 in the minors, but now that he’s nearing the majors the Reds are starting to wonder where they’ll eventually play him.
Alonso has been exclusively a first baseman in the minors, but the Reds already have 26-year-old Joey Votto there and he just hit .312 with 25 homers and a .981 OPS last season. They could move Votto to left field, where he saw some sporadic action in the minors, but his glove figures to be mediocre at best out there compared to very good at first base.
“Joey is going to be at first base for a long time,” general manager Walt Jocketty told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “I don’t see moving Joey.” Instead the Reds are toying with the idea of having Alonso switch positions, giving him reps in left field and right field in addition to third base and even catcher.
“I’m doing everything and they’re trying everything so I can go up there,” Alonso said. “It doesn’t matter where I play as long as I play.” He definitely has the right attitude, but probably doesn’t have the necessarily skills to make it a reality, as Baseball America‘s latest scouting report says Alonso’s “limited range would be a liability” away from first base.
It doesn’t make much sense for the Reds to move their best player away from a position he thrives at and so far at least Alonso’s production at the plate hasn’t stood out nearly enough to warrant making him a defensive liability at a new position in order to get his bat into the lineup. All of which seemingly adds up to a trade, but with Alonso likely ticketed for Double-A and Triple-A this year the Reds have a bit more time to sort things out.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.