Two dudes in the same organization get popped for 50 games:
Seattle Mariners Minor League outfielders Jamal Austin and Jabari Blash have each received a 50-game suspension without pay following second positive tests for a drug of abuse. Austin is currently on the roster of the Double-A Jackson Generals of the Southern League, while Blash is on the roster of the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League. The suspensions of both players are effective immediately.
Bad couple of says for Blash. First his luggage gets lost, then he gets suspended. Man, wasn’t even worth leaving Tacoma.
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.