Out since undergoing spring training surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, Drew Storen began a minor-league rehab assignment last night at Single-A.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Storen tossed a scoreless inning and needed just eight pitches to get three outs. It was such a brief outing that Storen actually went back to the bullpen afterward and threw more pitches.
He’s slated to make at least three more appearances in the minors before potentially returning to the Nationals, although with Tyler Clippard thriving as Washington’s closer Storen will have to settle for being a setup man after saving 43 games last season.
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.