Cespedes BP2

Yoenis Cespedes is not guaranteed a job either. Or so says Billy Beane.

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It’s understandable that Manny Ramirez is going to be out of the picture for a while. But would you believe Yoenis Cespedes could be shuffled off to the minors too?

I don’t believe it, but Billy Beane is at least making noises that Cespedes will not simply be given a job:

Beane would not guarantee Cespedes will be in the lineup March 28 when the A’s open the regular season against the Seattle Mariners in Tokyo. “Whether we think he’ll be ready to handle it the first game of the year or the 10th game, we just don’t know,” Beane said. “I think we’ll just have a feel. If we think he can handle it up here, we’ll make that decision.”

Obviously Beane has not read Cespedes’ glowing press clippings. Or maybe he’s just not as impressed at someone smacking a Jeff Francis “fastball” over the fence as I am. But you know me: I’m always an optimist.

I’m guessing he starts Opening Day, however. He’s going to be a draw. And, even if he’s not quite the hitter he showed in a single outing against some average pitching on a random March afternoon, he’s much more of a power threat than whoever would take his place in the A’s lineup, right?

One other thing: Every article I’ve seen spells his name “Yoenis.”  His locker in the A’s clubhouse in Phoenix, however, has the nameplate “Yoenys Cespedes” over it.  Anyone care to advise?

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.