Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese is out for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury, so St. Louis would like some infield help. A possible target: Andy LaRoche. That according to Rob Biertempfer of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
I know LaRoche’s stock has fallen quite a bit since his days as a prospect, but I’d have a hard time seeing him clear waivers. He’s still cheap and is a year removed from a season that, while nothing spectacular, shows that he could probably be a serviceable infielder for a non-contender (i.e. every team who has waiver claim priority over the Cardinals).
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.