From Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
ESPN reported that Braun tested positive for a PED that gave him an abnormally high testosterone level, which proved to be synthetic and therefore not produced by the body.
But my source — and again, this is from Braun’s end and not MLB — familiar with the test’s findings says the “prohibited substance” was not a performance-enhancing drug or steroid of any kind. And the source says there has “never” been a result like this in the history of the MLB testing program.
Synthetic testosterone sure sounds performance-enhancing, but maybe the details in ESPN’s story aren’t completely correct. Again, we’ll have to wait for Ryan Braun’s appeal of the positive test to be heard.
Either this is a case of semantics by a person trying to protect Braun, or the whole ordeal is in for a strange turn. What stands out from Haudricourt’s report is the part about the result being unprecedented in MLB.
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.