T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Josh Hamilton and the Rangers “are making progress towards settling his contract situation so that they will not have to go to an arbitration hearing” and “have discussed a two-year contract.”
Hamilton is arbitration eligible both this season and next, so a two-year deal would simply give the Rangers some cost certainty without impacting his ability to become a free agent following the 2012 season.
Hamilton requested a $12 million salary following his MVP-winning season, while the Rangers submitted a figure of $8.7 million. The two sides have a hearing scheduled for February 14 if they can’t come to an agreement before then.
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.