Rafael Betancourt underwent Tommy John elbow surgery last August and will miss at least the first half of the 2014 season. When the free agent right-hander does finally return to the big league stage, it will almost certainly be with the Colorado Rockies.
“I can’t see myself anywhere else at this point in my career,” Betancourt told Denver Post beat writer Troy Renck earlier this month. And now Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish is hearing from insider sources that the two sides are “in talks” on a new contract.
Betancourt has an excellent 3.08 ERA (150 ERA+) and 10.5 K/9 in 264 relief appearances since joining the Rockies in 2009. He drew some interest from the Dodgers earlier this offseason, but the 38-year-old seems to want to retire in Colorado.
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.