Our friend Jason Lukehart at Let’s Go Tribe passes along a number of changes/renovations that are coming to Progressive Field in Cleveland. The effect of which will be to reduce capacity of the park while making the place more fun and inviting.
The changes include adding a large bar/patio area in right field, creating more open space, removing excess luxury boxes, moving the bullpens together and putting more seats around them. They are also adding a statue of Larry Doby, which many fans think is long overdue.
In all, the renovations — which will be 100% privately financed — will reduce Progressive Field’s capacity from 42,487 to somewhere between 37-38,000. This makes a lot of sense for this park and should make a good ballpark a little bit better in terms of fan experience.
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.