Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com said today that the Tigers offseason priority is to find a leadoff hitter. Not surprisingly, Crasnick says that Jose Reyes is a “dream candidate.”
Just about anyone I talk to about the Tigers seems to think that too. The only problem with it is that the Tigers already have $90 million committed to just nine players, and by the time they fill out their roster, pay the necessary raises for 2012 and all of that, they’re looking at something like $120 million at least. Probably a bit more. They’re even still paying Gary Sheffield for cryin’ out loud.
Oh, and they still have Jhonny Peralta, who just had an awesome season and is under contract through 2012 and has a club option for 2013 that is exceedingly affordable.
To be sure, Mike Ilitch has shown in the past that he’ll spend money if he thinks it’ll make the difference. But it’s a 95-win team already and they have shortstop covered. If the Tigers are going to spend money, they should spend it elsewhere.
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.