There have been some reports about roadblocks in the contract negotiations between the Rangers and Yu Darvish, but according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com they “expect to sign” the Japanese right-hander before tomorrow’s late-afternoon deadline.
There’s also been some speculation that the Rangers could sign Darvish to a huge long-term deal and then add Prince Fielder as well, but Sullivan reports that “they are not expecting to sign” Fielder if Darvish agrees to terms.
Fielder and agent Scott Boras met with the Rangers in Dallas last week, leading to all kinds rumors about how far along they were in talks, but Sullivan calls the get-together merely “a preliminary meeting.” Connecting the dots, it sounds like the Rangers have Fielder in place as a fallback option should Darvish not sign, but unless Fielder’s demands drop significantly it’s unlikely they’ll both wind up in Texas.
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.