Not sure why I have a fascination with Andy LaRoche. Partially because I always find the lesser-half of baseball brother combinations interesting. Partially because there was about ten minutes there, back several years ago, when Andy LaRoche looked like a good prospect and I and many like-minded people mocked organizations for not appreciating his greatness. Dude hit .285/.372/.429 in the minors, and at one point back in the day that line was even higher.
The Blue Jays DFA’d LaRoche last night. After he was called up on Friday, got his first major league action in two years on Sunday and went 0 for 4. Now he’s likely to be released again and I wouldn’t bet the banana I’m eating that he sees the bigs again. He’s had over 1,300 big league plate appearances in which to figure it out. He still hasn’t figured it out and likely never will.
It’s not important for our purposes because he’s, after all, merely Andy LaRoche. But he is a reminder that baseball is a weird game and that even things that seem so certain in one moment are never so certain the next.
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.