UPDATE: No word on the results of the MRI exam, but Yankees manager Joe Girardi told Jack Curry of YES Network that Hafner is headed to the disabled list.
12:01 PM: Travis Hafner has really scuffled for a couple of months now and it comes as no surprise that his health could be a big reason for that. According to Kieran Darcy of ESPN New York, Hafner has a sore shoulder and is scheduled to undergo an MRI.
Hafner complained of right shoulder soreness back in mid-May and received a cortisone shot. The 36-year-old previously had right shoulder surgery in 2008 and missed time in 2009 and 2010 due to soreness.
While Hafner batted .318 with six homers and a 1.104 OPS in April, he’s hitting just .167 with six homers and a .535 OPS in 59 games since the start of May. Even if he avoids a stint on the disabled list, his playing time figures to diminish once Curtis Granderson comes off the disabled list, as the newly-acquired Alfonso Soriano figures to get most of the at-bats out of the DH spot.
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.