Matthew Pouliot wrote last week that Detroit’s primary focus heading into the trade deadline should be rotation help, so not surprisingly Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the Tigers are interested in Orioles starter Jeremy Guthrie.
Guthrie has a hideous 3-13 record, but his 4.45 ERA and 80/36 K/BB ratio in 123 innings are pretty close to his career norms and he’s typically been a solid mid-rotation starter.
He’s also 32 years old and earning $5.75 million, so while Guthrie has been the Orioles’ Opening Day starter in three of the past four seasons and is under team control via arbitration in 2012 it would certainly make sense to shop him for long-term help.
Morosi says the Orioles “will want pitching in return” if they deal Guthrie, but ultimately the market for him will be determined largely by whether superior starters like Ubaldo Jimenez and Hiroki Kuroda are also being shopped. Guthrie isn’t going to be any contender’s No. 1 target, but if the price is right he’s a reasonable fallback option.
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.