From T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com comes word that Rangers reliever Frank Francisco has decided that he will accept the club’s offer of salary arbitration.
Francisco could have tested the open market in search of a multi-year contract, but he was labeled as a Type A free agent this fall and that probably scared off potential suitors because the team that signed him would have been required to surrender a first round draft pick.
The Rangers have not fully decided whether they are going to move Neftali Feliz to the starting rotation heading into next season. That all depends on whether they’re able to re-sign left-hander Cliff Lee.
If Feliz remains a ninth-inning guy, Francisco will stick to setup. He posted a 2.84 ERA and held opponents to a .220 batting average between mid-April and the end of August this season in that role.
Francisco earned $3.265 million in 2010 and will get a decent raise through the arbitration process.
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.