Jonathan Papelbon was relaxed after yesterday’s game and spoke with Rob Bradford of WEEI. Specifically, he talked about the fine art of closing:
And what about the idea of former bullpen-mate Alfredo Aceves taking up his former closers role with the Sox?
“I think he definitely can [be a closer]. He’s got [expletives] of steel,” Papelbon said. “That’s what it takes. You’ve got to have a big set of doberman [expletives] to close.”
Philosophical question 1: If you know exactly what the word is that you’re slapping the [expletive] tag on, do you still have to do it? I do it too with little asterisks for Class-A profanity, but I still feel weird about it. Here, though, I think we can all agree that you can say “balls,” right?
Philosophical question 2: When a closer can no longer close, is it because he’s been neutered?
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.