In an offseason when players are making a lot more money than we thought they might, a guy with a of recent injuries who is probably only in the market for a one year, make-good deal might be worth the risk. Exhibit A: Josh Johnson, who is said to have interest from three or four teams.
Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was told by Johnson’s agent that the Pirates are one of the finalists to sign his client. The other teams aren’t known, but he has been linked in reports to the Giants and Padres, presumably on the basis of taking the “head to the NL West and remake your career in pitcher-friendly parks” cure.
Johnson had a pretty crappy 2013, with a 2-8 record and 6.20 ERA in 81.1 IP. But his velocity was fine and his strikeout rate was actually good when he was healthy, so he’s definitely worth taking a chance on, right?
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.