Get ready for cookouts at Target Field

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The Twins’ owners recently announced that they were kicking in an
additional $13 million to Target Field, and it appears that it’s mostly
being used for fun things. Things like this:

A roof deck, complete with a fire pit and a bar, will be the latest
addition to the Minnesota Twins’ new outdoor stadium, giving a
Minnesota twist to the famed rooftop decks that surround Chicago’s
Wrigley Field. “Anyone who has gone on a road trip to watch baseball,
i.e., Chicago . . . just realizes the experience we’re missing in
Minneapolis and St. Paul,” said Brock Guettler, 39, an avid fan who has
followed the Twins since he was 12. “And anybody who has grown up in
Minnesota and gone to the lake has sat out in the back by the lake and
the fire pit. Now we have another opportunity, except now we get to
watch our favorite baseball game” . . .

. . . “Every ballpark has its own nuance,” said St. Peter, the Twins
president. “Arizona has the swimming pool. San Francisco has the Bay
and the Coke bottle slide. ….The fire pit will be uniquely Minnesota.”

Except, unlike the Coke bottle and the pool, the fire pit actually
sounds pretty cool and, at least in April and September, probably
pretty necessary. Oh, and the Coke bottle appears to be maiming people too, so let’s take a few more points off for that.

Anyway, it’s always hard to tell how these projects are going to turn
out — new Yankee Stadium seemed like a good idea on paper — but I
have to say, everything I’ve read about Target Field makes it sound
like it’s going to be awesome.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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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.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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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.