Normally that’s crazy, but actually, in this case, Kevin Youkilis was probably right. The Yankees were considered dead and buried by everyone before a pitch was thrown this season, and that was just irrational. But as Youk tells Mark Feinsand, the Yankees haven’t given up even though, as strange as it sounds to say it, no one believed in them:
“It’s a good thing; guys are swinging the bats well, and putting together great at-bats. I think we all had confidence within ourselves. And that’s probably been the biggest talk – no one’s had confidence in us. So we stick together as a team, keep trying to have good at-bats.”
The bigger question is whether this is still the case when the season is more than a week and change old, but his point is well-taken. Even if it’s weird to hear it with respect to the Yankees.
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.