I’m gonna assume that the Indians are everyone’s negotiating ploy this year: talk to them, get an offer from someplace else. First it was Shane Victorino, now — I’m going to pretend — Nick Swisher:
I see less of a chance that Swisher would sign in Cleveland than Victorino would. Spare me the “well, he’s from Ohio and went to Ohio State” rebop. Me too. And I can tell you, we all want to get out of Ohio if it’s possible.
Seriously, though: Swisher is good enough to be a starter on a championship-caliber team, he has played in New York, his wife is an actress and he’s on record saying he would be interested in returning to the Bay Area. Something tells me that a stop in Ohio with the perpetually-rebuilding Indians is not high on his list.
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.