MLB Network’s Jon Heyman hears that the Astros may have interest in infielder Ryan Theriot if he’s non-tendered by the Cardinals.
The non-tender part sounds like a pretty good bet to happen, as the Cardinals have already pegged Daniel Descalso as their starting second baseman for next season and are “making progress” in bringing back shortstop Rafael Furcal.
Theriot earned $3.3 million this past season while batting .271/.321/.342 with one home run, 47 RBI, four stolen bases and a .662 OPS over 483 plate appearances. The 32-year-old made 17 errors in 91 games at shortstop in 2011 and advanced defensive metrics haven’t been kind to him over the past two seasons, so he may be better suited as a second baseman moving forward.
With Jose Altuve already projected as the Astros’ second baseman for 2012, it will be interesting to see whether new GM (and former Cardinals VP of scouting and player development) Jeff Luhnow views Theriot as a feasible replacement for Clint Barmes.
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.