Per a report from Rob Rains of StlSportsPage.com, the Cardinals are expected to call up top prospect Oscar Taveras from Triple-A Memphis. Rains cites an unnamed source, and adds that Taveras was seen packing his bags in the Memphis clubhouse. Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes is also reporting the Taveras call-up.
Taveras, 21, was rated the #3 overall prospect entering the season by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The outfielder has a .325/.373/.524 slash line with seven home runs and 40 RBI in the minors thus far.
The Cardinals could use some more pop in the outfield. Collectively, their outfielders have posted a .687 OPS, which ranks 11th out of 15 National League teams.
Update: Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that first baseman Matt Adams will go on the disabled list, clearing up a spot on the roster for Taveras.
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.