New Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon will have to fill a few more vacant coaching staff positions as he readies himself for the 2014 season in Seattle. Via Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times, the team fired pitching coach Carl Willis, demoted bullpen coach Jamie Navarro to the team’s Minor League system, and first base coach Mike Brumley left to join the Cubs as their assistant hitting coach.
The Mariners fired bench coach Robby Thompson before bringing McClendon on board. They also reassigned third base coach Jeff Datz to a scouting position. As a result, McClendon will get to almost entirely repopulate the coaching staff with his own selections. As Baker notes, only Daren Brown (who took over for Datz as third base coach), hitting coach Dave Hansen, and bullpen catcher Jason Phillips remain.
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.