With concerns about his surgically repaired shoulder likely limiting the potential trade market and two catchers ahead of him on the depth chart, the Nationals sent Jesus Flores to the minors today.
Flores was once the Nationals’ catcher of the future, but suffered a shoulder injury after getting off to a great start in 2009 and hasn’t played since, as the Nationals signed Ivan Rodriguez to be their short-term starter behind the plate and traded for Wilson Ramos to be their new catcher of the future.
Flores is still just 26 years old and showed a lot of promise before the injury, so if he can stay in the lineup at Triple-A, prove that his arm strength is back, and put together a couple good months there should be quite a bit of trade interest as the July 31 deadline approaches.
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.