Promising news here for the second-place Cardinals.
According to MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, an MRI taken Wednesday on the sore right knee of catcher Yadier Molina showed inflammation but no structural damage. Cards manager Mike Matheny said the team is “optimistic” that Molina will only require a minimal stay on the 15-day disabled list.
The Cardinals spoke to the Cubs about Dioner Navarro just before Wednesday’s 4 p.m. ET trade deadline and probably looked into some other fill-in options as well, but no deal was consummated.
Tony Cruz and Rob Johnson will handle catching duties for St. Louis until Molina is ready to return.
The Cardinals entered play Wednesday trailing the Pirates by 1 1/2 games in the National League Central.
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.