Home Run Derby league captains Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Bautista just revealed four of their five choices for next week’s event live on ESPN’s Sportscenter. The final two participants for the 2014 Home Run Derby will be announced on Thursday.
For the National League squad of sluggers, Tulo has decided to align himself with Marlins right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, and third baseman Todd Frazier of the Reds.
Bautista’s American League group so far includes Athletics left fielder Yoenis Cespedes, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, and a host-city-favorite selection in Twins second baseman Brian Dozier.
The 2014 Home Run Derby will go down next Monday night (8 p.m. ET) at Minnesota’s Target Field.
There’s a new group-and-bracket type of format this year, which is explained in detail on MLB.com.
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.