First batch of September call-ups includes Giambi

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Teams will be calling up players throughout the day as rosters expand to 40 spots, so keep an eye on Rotoworld’s player news page for all the latest transactions.
Along with the Brewers bringing back J.J. Hardy once his service time was sufficiently suppressed, here are some of the other noteworthy early moves:
* As expected, Jason Giambi has joined the Rockies’ bench after signing a minor-league contract last week. He went 8-for-18 with two homers in a brief stay at Triple-A and will fill the same pinch-hitting role that the Dodgers have in store for Jim Thome.
* Tim Hudson was activated from the 60-day disabled list and will make his season debut tonight against the Marlins, facing big-league hitters for the first time since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery 12 months ago.
* Brandon Wood is back with the Angels and will no doubt take his usual seat on the bench after hitting .293/.353/.557 with 22 homers in 99 games at Triple-A. He’ll be joined by homerless wonder Reggie Willits and catcher Bobby Wilson, who reportedly might end up as the player to be named later in the Scott Kazmir trade.
* Speaking Kazmir, his old rotation spot in Tampa Bay now belongs to Andy Sonnanstine, who’s back with the Rays after a two-month demotion to Triple-A. Sonnanstine had a 6.61 ERA in 15 starts with the Rays and then posted a 4.40 ERA in nine starts at Durham, so things could get ugly tonight against the Red Sox.
* Acquired from the Orioles for a PTBNL or cash last week, Joey Gathright will be the Red Sox’s pinch-runner and defensive replacement down the stretch. Gathright isn’t much of a hitter with a career .262/.327/.303 line, but he’s one of the fastest players in baseball, has tons of range in the outfield, and will prove to be a major asset if the Red Sox ever need someone to jump over a car.

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.