Aaron noted the other day that Mark Grace’s jail stint for drunk driving includes a work release component and that he’ll be doing spring training instruction for the Diamondbacks. Nick Piecoro caught up with Grace and gave a rundown of his day:
So in the end, Grace is blessed all over again. He gets to wear a uniform and not a jumpsuit. He’s spared the indignity of pink underwear. He reports every night at 6p.m., and is released 12 hours later … Members of the coaching staff poke fun at how he stuffs himself full of clubhouse food during the afternoon (thereby avoiding the prison grub). Or how he chain smokes before leaving the facility, filling up on nicotine.
I realize that sleeping in Sheriff Joe’s tent city is not exactly nice. As Grace tells Piecoro, it gets really cold at night. But still: twelve hours in jail a day, with around 10 of them spent sleeping, and the rest of the time hanging out at spring training, eating the clubhouse spread and everything sounds … somewhat less than real punishment.
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.