Russell Martin is still recovering from August hip surgery, but today his agent told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the catcher will “absolutely” be healthy in time for spring training.
Matt Colleran told Hernandez that Martin should be cleared to resume running at full speed within the “next couple of weeks” and has been working with a personal trainer in Montreal.
Martin’s health is key because the Dodgers are no sure thing to tender him a contract following back-to-back disappointing seasons. Martin earned $5 million this season and would likely get a raise to at least $6 million via the arbitration process, which is a lot for a guy who hit just .249 with a .680 OPS during the past two seasons if his hip remains any kind of question mark.
Hernandez speculates that Martin could traded or non-tendered, but for now at least Colleran says the 28-year-old former All-Star “loves L.A.” and “that’s where he expects to be … unless he’s told differently.”
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.