Milwaukee briefly flirted with Jimmy Rollins before settling on Alex Gonzalez as their new shortstop and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that his one-year deal is worth $4.25 million with a $4 million option for 2013 that vests with 525 plate appearances.
That makes it easy for the Brewers to cut bait on Gonzalez if he continues to decline at age 35, but he’s topped 525 plate appearances in each of the past two seasons and came to the plate 593 times for the Braves in 2011.
Milwaukee is banking on Gonzalez’s defense remaining strong at an age when most shortstops are on fumes, because his offense is very similar to departing shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. Which is to say awful and consisting of extreme out-making that cancels out some defent power.
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.