The fact that I’ve been the only person on the planet dropping references to Cody Ross in trade rumor stories these last few days is a testament to the ability of one’s fandom to overtake one’s objectivity from time to time. Intellectually I know that the Marlins aren’t really shopping him and that even if they were they wouldn’t trade him to the Braves. My heart, however, looks at the crap Bobby Cox has been penciling in out in left and center, however, and really wants to see Ross in a cap with an “A” on it.
Ain’t happening, though. I’ve accepted it now, on the power of a tweet from Fanhouse.com’s Frankie Piliere, who says the Marlins have taken him off the table in all trade discussions.
Now, let’s get all delusional about Josh Willingham . . .
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.