According to the Associated Press, MLB plans to look into allegations that Alex Rodriguez participated in an illegal, high-stakes poker game that included such celebrities as Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire.
If you recall, Rodriguez was previously “warned” by the Yankees for playing in some underground poker games in Manhattan back in 2005, but these new revelations came to light from a report in Star Magazine yesterday.
Rodriguez refused to comment on the matter before last night’s game against the Mets while his spokesman Richard Rubenstein said A-Rod “has not participated in these poker games.” The 35-year-old third baseman is not mentioned in any court filings in relation to the games in question.
By the way, Rodriguez went 2-for-5 with an RBI double in last night’s win, pulling his batting average up to .301 for the 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.