Mike Napoli spent two years with the Rangers before latching on with the Red Sox last offseason. Now there’s increased chatter that a return to Texas could be in his future.
Napoli made a total of 51 starts at first base during his time with the Rangers, but he was pushed into regular duty at the position with the Red Sox this season due to his hip condition. It’s stands to reason that he would get more comfortable at the position now that his days as a catcher are over. The Rangers could really use an upgrade at first base, but it would be a bit of a surprise if Napoli didn’t return to the Red Sox. It looks like he has found a home there. Getting some interest from Texas might give him the leverage he needs to secure a multi-year deal from Boston, at the very least.
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.