Prior to making his Arizona Fall League debut tomorrow Bryce Harper chatted with Byron Kerr of MASNSports.com and had some interesting things to say about the Nationals’ future:
I think in the next couple years we will be the Yankees of the NL East. I have been telling everyone that. We are going to roll. We are going to win some World Series. That is everyone’s goal. [Field coordinator] Bobby Henley preached that from day one: “We are going to win the NL East someday.” I really believe that. Hopefully, we bring a couple of World Series to Washington, D.C.
The whole “we will be the Yankees of the NL East” thing is obviously pretty amusing, but my favorite part of the above quote is that a Nationals coach picked “we are going to win the NL East someday” as his big motivational tactic. Of course, if the Nationals don’t “win the NL East someday” they’ll be one of the least successful franchises in the history of sports. Someday is a long time.
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.