MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that the Orioles are feeling out free agent pitcher A.J. Burnett’s interest in prolonging his career. If the right-hander wants to go for one more season, the Orioles will want to start a discussion. Kubatko adds that the O’s already met with representatives of Burnett at the winter meetings in Florida.
Burnett will turn 37 years old on January 3. He has been weighing retiring after 15 seasons in the Majors or coming back for another season. He spent 2013 with the Pirates, helping them end a 21-year playoff drought by posting a 3.30 ERA in 191 innings and leading the league averaging 9.8 strikeouts per nine innings.
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.