Jim Johnson worked out for the Orioles after being released by the A’s and most people assumed he was ready for a reunion in Baltimore, but not so fast says Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.
Johnson has signed a minor-league deal with the Tigers, where he joins Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, and Joba Chamberlain in a bullpen that’s been overhauled since last year.
Johnson was a mess in Oakland, posting a 7.14 ERA in 38 appearances, but he saved 101 games as the Orioles’ closer in 2012-2013 and came into this season with a lifetime 3.11 ERA in 360 games.
As a $10 million closer he was a disaster for the A’s. As a minimum-salaried middle reliever he might prove useful for the Tigers. And maybe he’ll get a chance to face the A’s in the playoffs.
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.