Friday, January 9, 2015

Blaine Boyer, bullpen candidate

The Twins this week signed Blaine Boyer, a 33-year-old right-handed reliever who spent last season with San Diego, to a minor-league contract with the proverbial invite to major league camp.

Boyer's bounced around quite a bit. The Twins will be his fifth U.S, organization, and he spent 2013 in Japan. He has eight seasons (full or partial) in the National League -- yes, the Twins have signed yet another NL refugee -- with a career ERA of 4.63.

For the Padres last season he had an ERA of 3.57 while walking just eight men in more than 40 innings and hold right-handed hitters to a .178 batting average. These look like decent numbers. Yet the Padres cut him loose in November and he was unable to find anything better than a minor league deal in January.

There's no risk to this signing. There's also no real reward to it. Boyer's just organizational depth. If he's pitching in Target Field, something's gone wrong with the bullpen plans. I would much rather see someone younger, if less experienced, get the opportunity.