Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that Shin-Soo Choo wants $140 million over seven years. Buster Olney was hearing the same thing. Scott Boras doesn’t do bargains — or if he does, he does them quietly, much later and after his demands aren’t met — so this is no huge surprise.
At the moment Joel Sherman of the New York Post says that the Rangers and Mariners are the current “lead dogs” in the hunt for Choo. The Reds are said to be somewhat interested in bringing him back, but not at those prices. The most notable suitor for Choo had been the Diamondbacks, but with the trade for Mark Trumbo that avenue is closed.
Jacoby Ellsbury got $153 million over seven. Choo had almost 70 points of OBP on Ellsbury last season, but Ellsbury, you know, is an actual center fielder, so the just-below-Ells slot seems to make some kind of sense.
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.