Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Ryan Ludwick has received contract offers from at least four teams. We have seen reports linking him to the Athletics and Reds as recently as this week, although it’s not clear whether any of the offers are from them.
Ludwick, 33, batted .237/.310/.363 with 13 home runs, 75 RBI and a .674 OPS over 139 games between the Padres and Pirates last season.
Ludwick hasn’t enjoyed much success since being traded from the Cardinals to the Padres in July of 2010, but has legitimate power and is well-regarded for his defense. A reunion with Walt Jocketty in Cincinnati would make some sense, as Great American Ballpark would be a great fit for his right-handed bat.
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.