The Red Sox signed David Ross to a two-year, $6.2 million contract over the winter in hopes that he would share catching duties with Jarrod Saltalamacchia this season, but he has been limited to just 23 games due to a pair of concussions. However, it sounds like he could be back for the stretch run.
According to Evan Drellich of MassLive.com, Ross will begin a minor league rehab assignment tomorrow with Double-A Portland. The 36-year-old hasn’t played since June 14, but he was cleared to return to game action after going for a check-up with concussion specialist Michael Collins on Thursday. He’s expected to move up to Triple-A Pawtucket next week and should be activated around the time he’s eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on August 17.
This has been a lost season for Ross so far, but he could provide a nice boost to Boston’s lineup if he’s back to 100 percent. He compiled an .816 OPS from 2009-2012 with the Braves and was a real weapon against left-handed pitching.
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.