Matt Garza’s comeback from elbow problems has hit another snag, as the Cubs right-hander was scratched from a scheduled minor league rehab start at Double-A due to what the team is calling a “dead arm.”
General manager Jed Hoyer told Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com that the setback “is all muscular, nothing structural” in an attempt to frame things as not-terrible news, but Garza is nine months removed from his last MLB start and his recovery timetable has been put on hold.
Garza is an impending free agent, so the Cubs want him to get healthy so they can trade him for something before July 31 and he wants to get healthy so he can convince teams he’s worth a big long-term deal this winter.
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.