The Twins put an end to catcher Joe Mauer’s season on Friday due to a case of pneumonia.
Now it’s Justin Morneau’s turn.
According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire acknowledged on a radio program Sunday that his first baseman is unlikely to return this year due to ongoing complications related to a severe concussion that he suffered in mid-2010.
Morneau began experiencing renewed symptoms (like headaches and dizziness) late last month after diving for a ball near first base. Those symptoms are being labeled as “mild,” but the Twins’ medical staff knows better than to push it with a major head injury that has already cost the player over four months.
Morneau struggled mightily this year, batting just .227/.285/.333 with four home runs, 16 doubles and 30 RBI in 69 games. There’s no telling if he’ll ever fully recover from that July 2010 collision at second base.
UPDATE, 12:29pm: Mackey has confirmed that Morneau has indeed been shut down for the year. The first baseman is also scheduled to undergo a minor procedure to remove a cyst from his left knee.
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.