UPDATE: Beltran was 1-for-5 with an RBI single and two walks as the designated hitter in his second extended spring training game on Saturday afternoon.
Friday, 9:01 PM: Carlos Beltran was 2-for-6 as the designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Friday afternoon, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork. It was Beltran’s first game activity since undergoing surgery on his right knee in January.
Beltran didn’t run beyond first base in the controlled setting, thus the Mets downplayed the significance of the event as “nothing crazy,” but before Friday’s game against the Marlins, Mets manager Jerry Manuel said that it is “fair to start the clock” on his return.
While the news is something for Mets fans to be excited about, general manager Omar Minaya told reporters last week that Beltran is unlikely to be activated from the disabled list before the All-Star break.
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.