Nobody’s quite sure why the Padres’ trade for Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett has been put on hold. The swap was initially agreed to a full week ago, but something might have gone wrong during the physicals for the three involved players or the two teams may still be working out contract matters.
Whatever the case, Jon Heyman of SI.com reported Wednesday that the trade is “better than 50-50” to get done. But, like, worse than 70-30. And worse than 60-40.
The Rays were slated to get relievers Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell in return from San Diego and were planning to plug some of the holes in their bullpen with the lefty and righty. Tampa Bay’s talented 2010 relief corps has been ravaged this winter by the free agent market.
The Padres, meanwhile, were hoping to start Bartlett at shortstop. He had a rough 2010, but the Friars got very little production from short this past year and his presence would have meant an improved 2011 lineup.
For now we will continue to play the waiting game.
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.