The Rangers formally introduced free agent signee Shin-Soo Choo at a press conference earlier today. GM Jon Daniels signed the outfielder to a seven-year, $130 million deal. Including Choo’s $14 million salary for 2014, the Rangers stand at about $116 million guaranteed to 15 players, leaving them $9 million shy of last season’s Opening Day payroll of $125 million.
It seems obvious, though you can never assume, but the Rangers are done with the heavy lifting. Daniels called free agent Nelson Cruz to thank him for his time in Texas. Daniels expects Cruz to sign elsewhere, according to ESPN’s Richard Durrett. Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson also said that the club is over budget and thus unlikely to get involved the Masahiro Tanaka bidding, per Durrett.
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.