We’re still on the conditioning stories because, well, that’s all that’s really happening so far. This one is good though. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and his love affair with cycling:
Fernandez wasn’t just tooling around soaking up sun and fresh air. Riding in a peloton that typically contained at least 50 serious cycling enthusiasts and grew to as many as 200 on some weekend rides, he maintained a frenetic pace for nearly 600 miles a week.
His bike is suh-weet, too. A Specialized S-Works Venge racer that probably cost him around $10K. And it also allowed him to report to camp at 215 pounds after pitching at around 240 last season.
Pitching is all in the legs, right? That’s what people say anyway. If so, Fernandez is gonna have a whale of a season.
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.