As a member of the Scottsdale Scorpions’ “taxi squad” Bryce Harper has been limited to playing twice per week in the Arizona Fall League, but the No. 1 overall pick has been extremely impressive when in the lineup, batting .343 with six extra-base hits and a 1.039 OPS in nine games.
Not bad for the second-youngest player in Arizona Fall League history.
Bill Ladson of MLB.com notes that Harper is expected to begin next season–and make his official professional debut–at low Single-A Hagerstown of the South Atlantic League, where he’ll still be younger than the average player by two years.
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.