The names of some of the participants in this year’s Home Run Derby — the ones who have confirmed already — were just announced. According to Tyler Kepner: David Ortiz, Corey Hart, Robinson Cano, Vernon
Wells, Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera will all be doing the back back back back back thing for the amusement of Chris Berman.
No Omar Infante? Maybe he’s just making everyone wait.
Like I said the other day: I’m with Tony La Russa. The Home Run Derby is a flaccid little made-for-TV spectacle. I’m not sure if what people say is true about it messing up guys’ swings, but I can’t see how it can help.
Anyway, that’s not exactly a murderers row of power (if anyone had Vernon Wells in their Home Run Derby pool before the season started, please step to the front of the room), but then again no one expected Josh Hamilton to go crazy in the thing a couple of years ago.
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.