The Braves have signed reliever Michael Tonkin to a minor league contract, according to his transactions log at MLB.com. The 32-year-old returns to affiliated ball after splitting the 2021 campaign between independent ball and the Mexican League.
Tonkin has 141 big league appearances under his belt. He appeared in the majors with the Twins each season between 2013 and 2017, logging a personal-high 71 2/3 frames of relief in 2016. Tonkin pitched to a 5.02 ERA that season and owns a 4.43 mark overall, with some home run troubles (1.54 HR/9) offsetting passable strikeout and walk rates (23.1% and 8.4%, respectively).
Following the 2017 campaign, Minnesota released Tonkin to pitch in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The California native worked to a 3.71 ERA across 51 frames with the Nippon-Ham Fighters the following season, then returned to North America on successive minor league deals with the Rangers, Brewers and D-Backs. Tonkin didn’t have a ton of Triple-A success in 2019, and he was cut loose by Arizona during the 2020 pandemic freeze.
These minor league deals aren’t cutting it. Need to see where Bryant, Correa, Jansen etc. sign. Not interested in these AAAA guys
I’m sure the owners are totally concerned that you’re a little bored.
One fan means nothing to them
Millions of fans mean nothing to them.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
I’m not sure Tonkin even qualifies as an AAAA guy. The last time he pitched in triple A he didn’t look good. It sounds like best case scenario is a reliever with an ERA over 3.70 and that seems highly unlikely. I think this guy will be lucky to have an ERA around 5.00 with limited innings if he even makes the team. They didn’t say how he did in “independent ball and the Mexican League.” I wonder what happened there to catch the Braves eye? Maybe he added another pitch or had something drastically change. It would have been nice if MLBTR actually told us how he pitched last season.
It would be nice if you didn’t complain about the free writing at MLBTR
They have a lot of MLB-ready arms that will create depth issues at AAA. Plug someone in there that should have a snowball’s chance of making it, but at worst, he can provide some AAA depth for the musical chairs that will be the Stripers rotation/pen for much of the season.
Are you saying Ton Ton froze?
Take it from the 2020 Red Sox: if you don’t sign a couple guys like this, then when your primary pitchers get hurt, you can call up guys with an 8-10+ ERA, wishing you had a couple of fives in long relief
A quick click of the link in the article shows he had a .34 ERA with a .713 whip in 26.2 innings in Indyball in ’19 and a 1.21 ERA with a whip under .900 and nearly 12 k/9 in 22.1 innings between Mexico and the DOWL this past year. His Indy numbers were good as well with a .53 ERA in 17 innings with a good k/bb ratio at each stop
I might take some of these freeloaders more seriously if I could see a TR badge by their pictures.
As it is, some people only sign on to gripe but never support much of anything. Probably a bunch of high school dropouts.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
@tstats & Fred Park: Someone pointing out something would be nice is not the same thing as complaining. It would be nice if I were a billionaire. I think a lot of people probably feel that way. Did I just complain? Do you think that means I feel I have been disserviced because someone hasn’t handed me a billion dollars? It would be nice if you two learned what the word “complain” actually means before you use it and accuse other people of doing it. Once again. Not complaining. Just saying it would be nice.
People are allowed to point out things they think would be nice without being accused of “complaining about free writing” or “griping.”
Eww – the “TR badge” starting to get delegitimatized.
Sid Bream Speed Demon
Why don’t you chip in you $3 per month or bugger off?
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
I kind of don’t buy the “testimonials” they post up. I’m not saying people shouldn’t join or support MLBTR because I think they should if they can afford it and think it’s worth it. I love the site and root for the people that work for it. The “testimonials” they put up look weird though. It doesn’t look like something written by just a normal person. It looks like something a writer would create trying to pretend he’s a normal person. Everything is spelled perfectly. Everything is grammatically correct. You mean to tell me that the people paying for the service and giving free testimonials are writing far better than everyone else who comments on this site? Why does it look like every random subscriber writes perfectly every single time? Not to mention I see how the subscribers write and they don’t write like that. They actually make a lot of grammatical and spelling errors like most commenters do. And then they write “real” names instead of screen names so you can never ask anyone if they actually did that. The way the “testimonials” are written look very contrived to me. I’ve never met a single person who laid claim to any testimonial posted or even anyone who wrote the way the testimonials are written. They all look like they come from someone with writing experience who is trying to pretend they don’t but failing.
I don’t write testimonials and I don’t get paid anything either.
And, Hammer, I agree with most of what you are saying.
But, I’m just saying that you are reading it wrong. Just because someone studies writing and does the best job he can, that should not make people think he’s a liar or a shill or phony.
I just think that we are blessed to have an honest blog like Trade Rumors and if people don’t get behind it with the $3 a month, we won’t have it much longer.
So I nag at the complainers and whiners if they are not contributors of anything at all..
Like Sid Bream just said, “chip in the $3 a month or bugger off.”
I don’t want Trade Rumors to go down the tube in failure like the MLB Disqus did and others like Shannon Drayer’s Disqus did.
I just want everybody to get behind it while we have a chance.
It’s already ad-free.
Yeah, I work on my writing and grammar, too, best I can, but that doesn’t make me a bad person.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
I love MLBTR too and don’t want it to go down either. It’s not ad free for me though because I’m not a subscriber. I accidentally hit the ads all the time and get directed to some site. I get that though. They gotta make their money. What I meant about the testimonials is they always post about 10 of them and every last one is always perfectly spelled and in perfect grammar. If it were one or two that would seem normal but every single time (I must’ve read at least 50 by now) there isn’t a single mistake anywhere or anyone in the message board saying “hey, that’s my testimonial!” It just seems a little too coincidental. But I agree with you. I don’t really like people bashing on it either because it is a free service. I see people complaining that they even made an article about certain things and I think that’s ridiculous. You don’t have to read it if you don’t want to. When I was saying “it would be nice if they posted his stats from last year” I didn’t really think of that as complaining. Just pointing out that it would be nice bro know since that was his most recent performance and probably the reason that team signed him. The article was still good. I guess to me suggesting some extra information that could possibly improve an article and complaining about an article existing are 2 totally different things. I’m glad the article was there. I was just pointing out something I thought could add to the article without much extra effort.
But really? No testimonials ever have any spelling or grammar mistakes? Ever? Out of all the different ones they have posted? They all try to write that well all the time? That was something that didn’t make sense to me so I figured I would see if anyone else noticed the same thing. Even if they are fabricating the testimonials it wouldn’t bother me. I would still read the site every day. I just wanted to see if anyone else noticed that.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I’ve been coming here for years maybe 10 (I’ve lost track). Best thing about this site was the downvote. Bring it back then I’ll sign up but not until then.
Look, I’ve been coming here for a decade and I owe them some money, sure. I appreciate the content and the forum (and their continued energy to keep these forum clear of the noise that makes many others intolerable) – that being said. I really hope there isn’t a sort of elitism/division by those with badges and those without.
While I’m interested in helping fund a site that I regularly come to, I don’t want to do it because of bullying of those who do not know/care about my financial situation, so I can get @Fred Park to take my comments seriously or inclusion from @Sid Bream Speed Demon. While the fee isn’t that steep, adding another monthly/yearly charge isn’t something I’m interested in right now, I’d be more interested in a one-time lifetime fee.
Exactly. I can’t get off to this.
Need a agreement between MLB and the players. AA then needs to sign Freddie Freeman.
Freddie is going to have to accept something less than 6 years and/or something considerably less than $30M/yr in order to stay with the Braves. I would say the absolute max Atlanta will offer him is 6/$150 and even that might be a stretch. AA’s philosophy on limiting free agent deals has served Atlanta very well over his 5 year tenure as their GM. They have made the playoffs nearly every season he’s been in charge and they’ve had a couple of deep runs including last year’s championship run of course. If AA & ownership ‘cave’ to Freddie’s demands, you can say goodbye to Acuna or Albies when their extensions expire because they’ll use Freddie’s deal as a starting point and factor in inflation, more recent deals, etc. The Freddie situation is unique given his tenure and leadership but Acuna and Albies will have the same case to make when their long-term extensions expire. I’ll be very surprised if ANY team ends up paying Freddie 6/$180M once the lockout is over. It’s too bad Freddie didn’t negotiate a couple of opt outs in his last extension. He could have hit the FA market at age 29 or 30 (versus 32) and he would have had a much better chance of hitting that $200M total for his free agent deal.
The more likely outcome of a contract with Atlanta is going to be that sixth year and not as much the money.
This is going to be very telling for Atlanta’s FO. If they won’t do this to retain Freeman than they won’t do it for anyone.
I think some team out there will be willing to offer Freddie at least 5/$150. I know he wants that sixth year but I don’t think Atlanta will give it to him unless it’s at a sub- $30 million AAV. Before all this started I really thought Freeman was going to be willing to sign an extension similar to Paul Goldschmidt’s 5/$130. The Braves actually offered him an extra million a year on top of that at 5/$135 but he still turned it down. He always talks about how “important” it is to him to stay with one team for the rest of his career and that guys like Chipper Jones and Tom Glavine convinced him he would be making a mistake if he left. It’s going to be really hard for the Braves to keep there payroll situation the way it is if they pay Freeman all this money. Acuna, Albies and probably even d’Arnaud took team friendly deals to stay with the team. Paying Freeman top market value might make them start to question why the Braves thought Freeman was so much worth more than them at age 32. I thought when Freeman said he wanted to stay with one team for his entire career he meant it was so important to him he was willing to take a discount to do it. Apparently he just meant he hopes the team is willing to pay him top of the market prices. It kind of makes his statement a moot point then, doesn’t it? I’m pretty sure all players who have only been with one team and are coming off a world championship hope that team is willing to pay top of the market prices to keep them, right? So I wonder what Freeman meant when he said that because now it just seems like he was stating the obvious but trying to put in a way that made him look better.
Looking at the Braves roster it appears they are totally against the idea of what some teams do by overpaying a player during his bad years so they can have his good years. With the exception of the Ozuna contract I don’t see any deal on that teams payroll that looks like it will turn bad before it’s over. Of course they didn’t know Ozuna would get arrested and his contract seemed like a steal at the time they signed it. The Braves should probably just keep that practice of never overpaying going. It seems to be working for them. I don’t see any reason to change course for a 32 year old first baseman and potentially screw up their payroll in a few year. When Freeman is 37 he is really going to be hurting that teams payroll. They already offered him $26 million a year until he is 37. That seems like plenty to me. I don’t see how it could benefit the team to raise that all the way to $30 million a year until he is 38. I would stick with the plan and the offer. I think Freeman will probably still take it after the lockout and that would be the best situation. If not they can always swing a trade for someone like Cahna or move Riley to first and get someone else to play third. Then they will be able to jump back into the market again in couple years instead of paying Freeman $30 million a year for his age 35-38 seasons.
@stevenebraska I totally agree with your assessment. The thing that’s rubbed me wrong the entire process is the fact Freddie implied many times over he would do for the Braves what chipper did with his last contract. It’s frustrating because if the Braves resign Freddie nobody is going to bring this back to light. Freddie has a golden opportunity to make his team better by allowing them to have a little extra wiggle room $ wise yet every indication is he isn’t going to do what chipper did.
@Steve Nebraska What happened to deleting your account?
Should have signed Canha for 1b and Story for SS for what Freeman wants. Then trade Dansby for whatever because it would be nice to have a shortstop that could hit anything in the postseason.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Dansby hit 2 home runs in the World Series and played great defense in the playoffs. He fits the team. He will be the starting SS all of 2022 (if there is a season). I imagine he might sign a team friendly extension being from Georgia.
I don’t buy this whole discount for the team thing anymore. Freddie implied it Dansby has not. Dansby isn’t going to be worth what he’s going to be asking for
Two home runs are cool. But, why not get a shortstop that can play defense and hit? Having him and Albies getting on base at below average clips doesn’t help. At least Albies contributes in almost all facets.
I love Freeman, but I can 100% see his next contract becoming an albatross. And for a
team who’s payroll is directly proportional to revenues, I would prefer spreading those dollars across multiple positions. And, imo, it should be for a more complete shortstop and a first basemen below elite. The net benefit to the team in short term competitiveness and in long term payroll flexibility far outweighs paying more for a fan favorite.
I like Canha, but he’d be most valuable as a COF. Sure, he’d probably adapt well to 1B as a last resort, but Freeman wasn’t going to sign that early, and unless you overpay Canha (terms of his contract from NYM too long) for COF bidding farewell to possibly re-signing Rosario, etc. and have Canha as your 1B backup, if Freeman leaves could be an option, but I’m not sure it’d be the best one…especially with no-DH yet and Ozuna’s presence muddies the need.
Re: Swanson – couldn’t agree more. Career-high HR/strikeouts – career-low OBP. His defense isn’t good enough to justify not even hitting league average OPS+.
World Champions. Team of the decade. Most successful franchise of the century.