Rays general manager Andrew Friedman was spotted last week having dinner with Angels owner Arte Moreno and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that he’s their No. 1 target to replace Tony Reagins, but there’s plenty of doubt about whether Friedman actually wants the job.
In fact, according to DiGiovanna’s sources “their chances of luring the 34-year-old executive away from the Rays are slim” and “Friedman’s loyalty to Tampa Bay owner Stuart Sternberg … appears to be the biggest obstacle to the Angels luring him to Anaheim.”
DiGiovanna reports that the Angels would offer Friedman the role of team president, allowing him to choose a GM to work under him much like Theo Epstein is doing with the Cubs. And he’d also have more than triple the payroll to work with, as the Rays spent $42 million players this year compared to $142 million by the Angels.
Either he’s holding out for a better job–of which there realistically aren’t a ton, given the Angels’ annual payroll rankings–or Friedman truly loves Tampa Bay.
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.