WEEI’s Rob Bradford hears that the Red Sox are “probably not” going to be a finalist for free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion.
Not that that should make you sad if you’re a Sox fan who wants to see Encarnacion in Boston, as these sorts of rumors are often dekes and exercises in misdirection, often aimed at improving or degrading the negotiating position of the parties.
For what it’s worth, Encarnacion is said to be waiting for the Collective Bargaining Agreement to be finalized before agreeing to terms. That could come as early as tomorrow. In the meantime, he has been linked to the Yankees, Astros, Rangers, and Blue Jays, in addition to the Sox.
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.