Joel Sherman reports that that new Mets GM Sandy Alderson wants to bring Paul DePodesta and J.P. Ricciardi on board. Both of these guys, you’ll recall, worked under Alderson in Oakland before going off on their own GM frolics. Depodesta’s was, in hindsight anyway, pretty successful with the Dodgers, even if they still don’t realize it. Ricciardi’s in Toronto, not so much, but not terrible either. Whatever you thought of them as top dogs, though, both are smart baseball guys and rarely do you go wrong by assembling a team full of smart people.
Sherman also says that Alderson is likely to go with an Oakland A’s-style manager: low key, low profile, and totally subservient to the front office. This would seem to eliminate Wally Backman from consideration. That won’t make a lot of Mets fans happy — the fascination with Backman seems to be taking on epic proportions — but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring him in as a third base coach or something. Whatever happens, I have this feeling that Alderson will navigate that PR minefield just fine.
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.