There’s no actual news in Scott Lauber’s story about Jonathan Papelbon in today’s Boston Herald — note: there are other relievers who could take his job and if he wants a big payday next winter he had better perform in 2011 — but there’s a great line, dropped after Lauber wonders whether Papelbon was even aware that the Red Sox made an offer to Mariano Rivera earlier this month:
Papelbon comes off as a kilt-wearing, Riverdancing, real-life Nuke LaLoosh, and there is a certain authenticity to his seeming obliviousness.
“Hear that, guys! The Herald says I’m ‘authentic’!”
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.