Last week Carlos Beltran admitted that he “would have to listen” if the Mets approached him about switching positions, but Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that Beltran and general manager Sandy Alderson spent Saturday together in Puerto Rico and the topic wasn’t broached.
“The trip to Puerto Rico was not to accomplish a position change,” Alderson told McCullough. “It’s not necessarily that the subject is only broached after spring training begins, but I think it’s only fair to think about that and deal with it in the context of real information.”
In other words, the Mets may want to actually get a look at Beltran and his surgically repaired knee in some game action before determining whether he should remain in center field. That approach certainly makes sense, but Beltran has indicated that he’d like to know the team’s plans sooner than later, saying: “If the organization has different things in mind, then we have to talk about that.”
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.