As recently as yesterday afternoon Tim Kurkjian of ESPN reported that the Yankees were “all over” Ubaldo Jimenez, but once the Rockies ace was traded to the Indians much different details emerged about New York’s interest level.
According to Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger the Yankees’ pursuit of Jimenez essentially ended several days ago when the Rockies refused to let him take a pre-trade physical exam and scared off general manager Brian Cashman with their prospect demands.
Given that the Rockies ended up with an impressive four-player package led by Drew Pomeranz and Alex White it’s easy to see why the Yankees may have balked at their asking price, which Carig reports as Ivan Nova plus two of Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, or Jesus Montero.
However, with the Yankees believing Jimenez’s drop in velocity could be a major red flag they insisted on studying his health before getting too deep in talks and the Rockies’ resistance to that basically made the asking price a moot point. And that’s a big part of how the most coveted starting pitcher on the trade market ended up in Cleveland.
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.