Shawn Tolleson will be 29 years old on Thursday and is in the process of potentially celebrating that birthday with a new contract in a new home. The Tampa Bay Rays are nearing a deal with the righty who saved 35 games for the Texas Rangers back in 2015. Last season, he struggled mightily while battling injury and demotion. A year after pitching in 73 games for the Rangers in ’15 saving 35 of 37 chances and a 2.99 ERA – Tolleson finished the 2016 season with huge spikes across the board. Most notably that 7.68 ERA in 37 games, saving 11 of 15.
He is very capable of bouncing back for the Rays, however. Back in 2014, he had a very solid year in his first with the Rangers after coming over from the Dodgers where he broke into MLB back in 2012. That year he went 3-1 in 64 appearances with a 2.76 ERA in 71.2 innings. If he puts together a solid and healthy spring, he could be a very solid addition to the back end of the bullpen.
When the deal is final, the Rays will need to open up a spot on the 40-man roster for Tolleson.
UPDATE 1/23: The terms on the Tolleson deal are official. A one-year, $1 million contract.