Some people have suggested that Mariano Rivera should be chosen to start the All-Star game for the American League as a way to honor the future Hall of Famer in his final season, but there’s one major problem: Rivera doesn’t want to do it.
“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” Rivera said, via Joey Nowak of MLB.com. “And the reason why I say that is it’s not what I do. What I do is close the games; I don’t start the games. It’s a privilege and honor, but I’m not contemplating it.”
Obviously starting would guarantee him an appearance, whereas there’s only a 50-50 chance of the AL holding a lead going into the ninth inning, but wouldn’t it be a whole lot more exciting if Rivera closed out the All-Star game?
Of course, we could also just agree not to let Rivera retire. I mean, the guy has a league-leading 26 saves and a 1.61 ERA. Strictly in the interest of figuring out exactly what humans are capable of I say he should be forced to keep pitching until his ERA rises above, say, 3.00 for a season.
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.