Aaron Heilman was spotted shaking hands with teammates and cleaning out his locker following yesterday’s game, which jibes with the report from Jack Magruder of FOX Sports Arizona that the Diamondbacks will release the veteran right-hander.
Heilman re-signed with the Diamondbacks for a one-year, $2 million deal in the hopes of snagging a rotation spot after years of relieving, but instead he’s been exclusively a reliever again while posting a 6.88 ERA in 35 innings.
Serving up eight homers in 32 appearances has played a big role in Heilman’s struggles and his velocity is also down this season, but his 33/11 K/BB ratio suggests he can still be effective in a low-leverage role. He may have to work his way back to the majors with a minor-league deal at age 32.
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.