It’s not clear who will get the most reps at short in Boston this year. But yesterday Reds Sox’ manager Bobby Valentine said that Mike Aviles has the “DNA” of an everyday shortstop.
Fact: Mike Aviles was born in New York City in the spring of 1981. Fact: the “everyday shortstop” of the Yankees at the time of Aviles’ conception was Bucky Dent.
Theory: If Aviles has the DNA of an everyday shortstop, that must mean* that Bucky Dent is his real father, and Aviles has now been delivered to Boston as part of a generations-spanning plot by Bucky Dent to punish the Red Sox even further than he already has.
Unless of course he plays really well, in which case it is Bucky Dent making amends with Red Sox fans for that home run he hit in 1978.
Or it’s possible that Aviles is actually the son of Frank Taveras, who started 141 games at short for the Mets in 1980. But such speculation would be silly.
*Note: it must not mean any of this actually.
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.