Absent a sitcom-like case of frying-pan-to-the-head-induced amnesia, they won’t let him. But Victor Martinez would love to get behind the plate:
“Hopefully by the end of the season I’ll be able to get behind the plate.” Martinez said he could catch right now if the Tigers asked him to.
“I’m pretty healthy,” he said. “That’s not a concern at all. If they need me (to catch), I’ll definitely be there. It’s not a question. It’s not a question.”
Martinez caught 26 games in 2011. And missed 2012 with an ACL. So, sure, I guess if the playoffs came and the Tigers were in need of an emergency catcher they might put Martinez back there, but I’d be utterly shocked if he actually donned the tools of ignorance for the Tigers again. Heck, even in the playoff scenario it would be sub-optimal given that it would likely cost the Tigers their DH in that situation.
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.