Manny Ramirez has been spotted in Toronto for the past couple days, leading to speculation that his visiting has something to do with interest from the Blue Jays.
Asked if there was a connection of any kind, Toronto general manager Alex Anthopoulos replied: “I wouldn’t comment on player rumours either way.” (And yes, he somehow put the extra “u” in there while speaking.)
Last month Ramirez praised the Blue Jays’ decision to hire Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell as their new manager, saying he’d like to play for Farrell and calling Toronto “a team I’ve liked since they had all those Dominican players in the ’80s.”
Of course, given how poorly his time with the White Sox went Ramirez is probably pretty open to playing for just about any team right now.
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.