The White Sox are only three games back in the American League Central and have no plans of throwing in the towel quite yet, but a number of teams have expressed serious interest in acquiring outfielder Carlos Quentin and the Chicago front office is now actively fielding offers.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, rival scouts and executives have already concluded that Quentin “will be dealt” before Sunday’s July 31 non-waiver deadline. The Braves are being viewed as the current frontrunner, but the Phillies are also known to have interest and a few other contenders could come calling if the Hunter Pence negotiations go nowhere.
Quentin, 28, is batting .262/.353/.510 this year with 20 home runs and 63 RBI through 93 games for the Pale Hose. He’s making $5.05 million this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility.
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.