Ruben Amaro Jr. has made no secret about wanting to re-sign catcher Carlos Ruiz, but the GM also made it clear yesterday that the Phillies won’t wait around for him to make a decision.
Amaro told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News that if Ruiz takes a long time to decide “I can assure you … there will be very little chance of bringing Chooch back. We can’t afford to miss out on other opportunities.”
Ruiz has already been linked to the Rockies and several contending teams with catching needs will surely be interested as well. Ruiz is 35 years old and posted a .688 OPS for his worst mark since 2008, but he batted .268 with a .741 OPS in 52 games after the All-Star break.
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.