J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports that the Dodgers avoided arbitration with outfielder Scott Van Slyke and reliever Chris Hatcher on Thursday. The financial details are not yet known.
Van Slyke, 30, is entering his second of four years of arbitration eligibility. He earned $1.225 million last season. The son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke, Scott was limited to 52 games in 2016 and compiled a meager .225/.292/.314 triple-slash line in 113 plate appearances. Van Slyke underwent season-ending surgery on his right wrist near the end of August.
Hatcher, 31, is also entering his second of four arbitration-eligible years. The right-hander struggled over 40 2/3 innings, putting up a 5.53 ERA with a 43/21 K/BB ratio. Hatcher suffered a season-ending Game 3 strain of his right oblique in July.
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.