Out for the past six weeks with a concussion, Twins center fielder Denard Span told Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he’s been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.
There’s no word yet on where Span will be rehabbing or how long the stint is expected to last, but given the struggles Justin Morneau had coming back from his concussion last season the Twins are sure to play it very safe with Span’s timetable.
In his absence Ben Revere has taken over as the everyday center fielder, but his standout defense has come with a modest .310 on-base percentage and .309 slugging percentage in 50 games.
Span was Minnesota’s best player prior to the concussion, but it’ll be interesting to see if the Twins keep Revere around alongside him in the outfield and, if that happens, which of them plays center field. Jason Kubel is also on the DL, but if at some point all of the Twins’ outfielders are healthy it’ll be a logjam that also includes Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer, plus Jim Thome at designated hitter.
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.