Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena had a showcase this weekend in the Dominican and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo spoke to a scout who was there:
“He’s what you’ve been reading. He’s a very good defensive player. His glove is very close to the big leagues. The bat, you kind of think he’s one of those guys who’ll bat down in the order. He can really play shortstop, if that’s the type of player you’re interested in. He’ll be a quality defensive shortstop in the majors, but you wonder if he’s going to hit. Some of the others who have come recently — Jose Iglesias, Adeiny Hechavarria — I felt more confident about the bat. We’ll have to hear what the money is. This isn’t like Aroldis Chapman or Yeonis Cespedes. You’re not going to hear from 15 teams. You’ll hear from teams that are hurting a little bit at shortstop.”
Lucky for Arruebarruena, there are many clubs “hurting a little bit” at shortstop.
The 23-year-old has drawn some recent interest from the Mets, and the Yankees actually hosted his workout at their Dominican facility. Arruebarruena defected from Cuba to Haiti in mid-November.
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.