Who declared it “Lance Berkman Day” around here? In any case, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post reports that the Yankees are the latest team to express interest in the veteran slugger, joining the Rangers, Astros, Orioles and Rays.
Of course, Berkman had a pretty miserable time after being traded from the Astros to the Yankees in 2010, as he batted just .255/.358/.349 with one homer and a .707 OPS in 37 games. It’s not clear whether he’d consider a return to New York given that he’s actively talking to both Texas teams. But hey, you can’t blame Brian Cashman for trying to infuse some youth into the roster.
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.