WEEI’s John Dennis reports that talks between the Red Sox and Cubs regarding compensation for GM Theo Epstein have not gone well so far. I’m picturing this:
Red Sox: Give us Starlin Castro
Cubs: No. Take Carlos Zambrano.
Red Sox: No. Give us $10 million.
Cubs: No. Take Alfonso Soriano.
And on and on.
I’ve searched and searched and I can’t figure out what happens if they remain at an impasse. My presumption is that an arbitrator or the league or someone would step in and just deem what proper compensation is, but I could be wrong. I mean, it’s not like (a) anyone can force Epstein to continue to be the Red Sox’ GM (and the Red Sox wouldn’t want him to be that now); and (b) there is no tangible price that the Cubs could pay that would compensate Boston. It’s gonna happen, we just don’t know how.
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.