Jon Heyman tweets that the Brewers are leaning towards keeping Prince Fielder.
It’s not easy to be trying to trade Fielder right now, given that Adrian Gonzalez may soon be available and that other, lesser-but-cheaper first basemen can be had via free agency at the moment. And of course, given that Fielder is a Boras client, he’s highly unlikely to be amenable to a contract extension prior to hitting the market as a free agent a year from now.
The Brewers could easily compete in 2011, so it may be worth keeping Fielder around anyway, even if they don’t believe they can sign him long term. The NL Central isn’t outrageously strong, and if Milwaukee can upgrade its pitching this winter, there’s no reason they can’t be in the think of the race all year.
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.