When Brad Penny got out of his contract in Japan and signed a minor-league deal with the Giants last month there was talk of him making a quick path back to the majors and joining San Francisco’s bullpen almost immediately.
Three weeks later that hasn’t happened, and in fact Penny’s first scheduled Triple-A appearance has been canceled because of the same shoulder soreness that played a part in his returning from Japan.
He was supposed to make the first of 3-4 appearances today, but now his status is unclear and manager Bruce Bochy told Chris Haft of MLB.com that “this could take awhile … we have to do what’s right, we’ve got some time.”
In recent years Penny has had sub par results as a starter despite maintaining top-notch fastball velocity, so converting him to the bullpen is a worthwhile idea, but at age 34 and five years removed from his last effective, healthy season it’s not going to be that simple.
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.