Out since mid-February with a shoulder injury, A’s right-hander Ryan Cook threw 21 pitches in a simulated game against teammates today and said afterward that he felt good.
In fact, Cook felt so good that he told John Hickey of the San Jose Mercury News he’s game-ready and still holding out a slim hope of avoiding beginning the season on the disabled list.
Oakland has spent a ton of money and resources on building an excellent, deep bullpen, so the A’s can deal with not having Cook for a while, but he’s a huge part of their plans after appearing in 71 games during each of the past two seasons with a combined 2.54 ERA and 9.4 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.