Jason Kubel has been released by the Twins after being designated for assignment and passing through waivers unclaimed by the other 29 teams. Kubel rejected an assignment to the the minors, choosing to hit the open market again as a free agent rather than play at Triple-A for the Twins.
Kubel is only 32 years old and had a career-high 30 homers as recently as 2012, but he’s hit just .219 with six homers and a .609 OPS in 142 games since then and looked completely washed up during the past two months. He got off to a nice start for Minnesota, but then batted .177 with zero homers and 52 strikeouts over a 38-game stretch.
He made the Twins out of spring training on a minor-league contract, returning to Minnesota after playing there from 2004-2011, and earned $2 million on the deal.
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Monday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
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.