UPDATE: According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels, Orioles, Phillies and Blue Jays are pursuing Cordero. Those are likely our four finalists.
6:40 PM ET: MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez reports that free agent Francisco Cordero is down to four teams and expects to make a decision by the end of the week.
Gonzalez confirms that the Angels are one of the clubs and suspects that the Phillies and Orioles are also involved. The Rays haven’t entered the bidding and don’t figure to after spending $7.25 million on Carlos Pena.
If the Angels sign Cordero, he’d replace Jordan Walden as the team’s closer. Walden was handed a spot on the AL All-Star team as a rookie, but he ended up blowing 10 save chances on the season. The Orioles would also use Cordero as a closer, while the Phillies would want him as a setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.
Cordero, 36, had a 2.45 ERA and 37 saves in 43 chances for the Reds last season. Cincinnati had some interest in re-signing him, but that was before it upgraded to Ryan Madson.
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.