Michael Bourn landed on the disabled list last week after he had his right hand stepped on by White Sox reliever Matt Thornton during a head-first slide into first base and required five stitches in his index finger, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Indians’ lineup.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Bourn is scheduled to have the stitches removed from his finger on Thursday. Assuming the wound doesn’t impact his ability to throw or grip a bat, he could be ready to return right around when he’s first eligible on April 30.
Bourn, who joined Cleveland on a four-year, $48 million deal in February, was hitting .333 (15-for-45) with seven extra-base hits (two home runs) and a stolen base prior to the injury. Drew Stubbs has been playing center field during his absence.
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.