For those of you keeping track, it’s the first full week of the offseason and already the Red Sox have been linked to approximately 79% of all known baseball players, living and dead. Indeed, in the last 24 hours we’ve heard about them and Anibal Sanchez, Mike Napoli, Adam LaRoche, Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Justin Upton. So what’s one more?
Kuroda is definitely an interesting free agent, as he has preferred to do one-year deals and has contemplated returning to Japan in the past. The Dodgers would definitely want him back. So too would the Yankees. And the Red Sox have both cash and a need.
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.