NatsTown is suddenly a very hot ticket with the news of Stephen Strasburg’s imminent promotion. And according to what Roy Oswalt told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post on Tuesday, he wouldn’t mind hitching his wagon (or tractor) to the surprising ballclub.
“They’ve been playing well,” Oswalt said. “They’ve got a good offensive
club. I saw where they have Strasburg coming up. He should make an
immediate impact, especially, because no one’s seen him in the league,
early. There’s always a little adjustment period there.”
Oswalt went on to call the National League East “wide open” and that he would be willing to play “anywhere” where he can contend. Entering play on Tuesday, the Nationals are 26-26 and just 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.
Oswalt, 32, is 3-7 with a 2.78 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 11 starts with the Astros this season. He is owed $15 million this season, $16 million in 2011 and either $16 million or a $2 million buyout in 2012.
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.