Brian Fuentes has been linked to nearly a dozen teams this offseason while reportedly holding out for an opportunity to close and according to Ken Davidoff of New York Newsday the Blue Jays “rank among the most serious suitors for” the 35-year-old left-hander.
Toronto signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million deal last week and the assumption was that he’d fill the closer role for the Blue Jays, but Davidoff writes that general manager Alex Antopoulos “will continue to explore the relief market” and Fuentes could fill the southpaw void created by Scott Downs leaving as a free agent.
Fuentes averaged 30 saves per season from 2005-2010, including a league-leading 48 for the Angels in 2009, and posted a 2.81 ERA with a 47/20 K/BB ratio in 48 innings last season.
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.