Gerardo Concepcion failed to make it out of the first inning in his start at low Single-A today, getting knocked around for seven runs.
Concepcion signed a five-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs in March after defecting from Cuba, but the 20-year-old left-hander has now allowed 12 runs through his first 5.2 innings against Midwest League hitters.
Two bad starts hardly doom him, but when the Cubs signed Concepcion many prospect analysts were shocked by the price tag and the assumption was that Theo Epstein and company decided to overspend before the collective bargaining agreement’s new rules on international spending kicked in.
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.