First Yu Darvish, now this. Capping off a disappointing first year with the Rangers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is headed for season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.
There were big expectations when the Rangers signed Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract over the winter, but he ended up posting career-worsts across the board, with a .242/.340/.374 batting line to go along with 13 home runs and 40 RBI over 123 games. Some of the struggles can be blamed on an early-season ankle injury and Wilson writes that Choo has been dealing with the bone spur since spring training. It’s been that kind of year for the Rangers.
Choo still got on base at a good clip this year and it’s fair to expect better production with improved health, but he turns 33 next July and still has $116 million coming his way through 2020.
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.