4:50 p.m. EST update: Ken Rosenthal says Buerhle is going to the Marlins — four years, $58 million.
3:10 p.m. EST update: ESPN’s Jayson Stark reports that the Nationals are another one of the three finalists for Buehrle, joining the Marlins. Several clubs believe the Rangers are the third. That would leave the Cardinals out of the mix, but the Cardinals weren’t likely to have the money for both he and Albert Pujols anyway.
Mark Buehrle’s list of potential destinations has dropped from five to three, and while the puzzle is still missing a few pieces, Juan Rodriguez of The Sun-Sentinel has confirmed that the Marlins are one of them.
The Nationals, Cardinals and Rangers have also been looked at as strong contenders for Buehrle, while the Angels now appear to have turned their attention towards C.J. Wilson. A return to the White Sox appears highly unlikely.
The 32-year-old Buehrle is seeking a four-year deal worth approximately $14 million per year. A lifetime 161-119 pitcher, he’ll bring a streak of 11 straight seasons with at least 200 innings pitched to his new team.
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.