The Indians traded for Jason Kubel. From one depth move to another, they just announced that they signed Kelly Shoppach to a minor league deal. He’ll report to Triple-A.
Shoppach, who is 33, played for the Indians between 2006 and 2009. He started this year with the Seattle Mariners where he didn’t hit. The M’s released on June 20, after which the Nats picked him up and stashed him in Syracuse. They released him and he’s recently been with the Pirates organization but requested his release on August 28. Not surprisingly, this coincided with the Pirates trading for John Buck, effectively eliminating any chance Shoppach had to make the big club in September.
Now on to Cleveland. Or, rather, Columbus.
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.