When the Mariners announced last month that David Aardsma needed hip surgery they initially expressed optimism that he’d be ready for Opening Day, but yesterday trainer Rick Griffin pushed back the closer’s recovery timetable a bit.
According to Griffin he likely won’t be cleared to pitch in games until at least the second week of April, which means he’ll miss all of spring training and suggests Aardsma will require a minor-league rehab assignment to face live hitters before rejoining the Mariners’ bullpen.
Seattle had been trying to trade Aardsma prior to the discovery of a torn labrum in his hip, but the surgery and pushed-back recovery timetable likely takes him off the market until at least June even if he avoids setbacks.
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.