It’s kind of fitting that, on the same day, an all-time “what happened to that guy” guy like Andy Marte signed with someone, that another one does too: Wily Mo Pena signed with the Diamondbacks.
It’s a minor league deal with an invite to camp, paying him $675,000. Given the way he raked in limited play in Portland last year — .324/.390/.556 — he’s definitely worth a shot. Worst case, you let him go. Best case: he turns into Carlos Pena redux: a guy who everyone thought could put it together some day, didn’t for a long time, and then finally figured it out later.
I don’t know that I’d bet on it — Carlo Pena always had good plate discipline in his favor whereas Wily Mo doesn’t — but it’s a low risk, high upside proposition. And he has a better shot at helping his team than Andy Marte does, I’d wager.
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.