Multiple reports out of Boston that the Red Sox have hired Pedro Martinez to be a special assistant to to GM Ben Cherington.
I have no idea what most special assistants do, but I imagine that he’ll do much the same for the Red Sox that Sandy Koufax will do in his new job as special assistant to the Dodgers. Spring training instruction. Be a team ambassador. Be a guy who knows oodles about baseball and is now, because of his job, always reachable. There’s probably a lot of value in that, actually.
Also: I think of Pedro as being a modern Koufax, so I like that both of them got basically the same gig in the past week.
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.