According to ESPN’s Jim Bowden, Dee Gordon is the front-runner for the Dodgers’ second base job. As a result, Alexander Guerrero — the recipient of a four-year, $28 million contract from the Dodgers signed in October — will start the year in Triple-A.
Guerrero has had some trouble defensively at the position. Gordon may win the job out of spring training, but as long as Guerrero shows some progress, the Dodgers won’t have any problems fitting him on the roster later. Gordon has only logged three and two-thirds innings at second base in his big league career and only a handful more in the minors. Gordon also leaves a lot to be desired offensively so it’s unlikely he’ll cause a tug-of-war for the job later on.
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.