My friends at The Platoon Advantage have a fun post today: counting down the 40 greatest seasons by players on terrible teams.
I was somewhat shocked but quite pleased to see Lonnie Smith’s 1989 season with a putrid Braves team so high on the list. I loved that season. I loved the 1988 Braves season too. I’m kind of a masochist.
With the notable exception of a Randy Johnson season, a Steve Carlton season and a couple other nice years by some sonsabitches, there are a lot of well-loved players on this list. Indeed, I’m guessing that toiling for a poor team and having a great year is exactly what made them well-loved in the first place. Fans gotta latch on to something, so it makes sense that they latch on to the Lonnie Smiths, Rusty Staubs and Ron Santos of the world.
A good read while we wait for the playoffs to start.
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.