ST. PETERSBURG — Hoping to add needed depth and experience to their bullpen, the Rays are close to finalizing a deal with former Texas closer Shawn Tolleson.
Tolleson, 29 on Thursday, saved 35 games for the Rangers in 2015 but struggled through a rough 2016 season, losing his closer's job, getting sent to the minors, being sidelined with a back injury then being dropped from the roster after posting a 2-2 record and 7.68 ERA with 11 saves. He is considered healthy and ready for spring training.
In 2015, Tolleson was 6-4 with a 2.99 ERA and 35 saves in 37 chances over 73 games, with 76 strikeouts in 721/3 innings. That was after going 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA in 2014 as a setup man working 64 games.
RAYS NOTES: The one-year, reported $5 million deal with outfielder Colby Ramus likely won't be finalized for several more days due to a review of medical records. … The 25 top prospects at Tropicana Field this week for the annual winter development camp include right-hander Brent Honeywell and infielders Willy Adames and Daniel Robertson. Infielder Lucius Fox, acquired in August from the Giants, was unable to attend due to visa issues.
AROUND THE MAJORS: The Blue Jays and outfielder Jose Bautista agreed on a one-year, $18 million deal with a mutual option. … Oft-injured former MVP Josh Hamilton agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers with an invitation to spring training. … The Braves plan to move their spring training home to North Port in 2019. They have trained at Disney's Wide World of Sports since 1997. … Longtime major-league executive Dan O'Brien Sr. died Monday in Dallas. He was 87.
Information from Times wires was used in this report.