Link-O-Rama: A-Rod notches 2,500 career hit

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* Last night Alex Rodriguez delivered his 2,500th career hit, which is remarkable given that this is his age-33 season. The only players in baseball history with more hits than Rodriguez through the age of 33 are Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Hank Aaron, Robin Yount, Mel Ott, and Jimmie Foxx. And he can pass Foxx and Ott with a strong September.
Since rejoining the lineup on May 8 following hip surgery Rodriguez ranks among the AL’s top five in homers, RBIs, walks, and on-base percentage. Oh, and overall this season the Yankees are 66-32 (.673) when Rodriguez starts and 19-16 (.542) when he doesn’t. Meanwhile, the media in New York can’t seem to decide whether to hype Mark Teixeira or Derek Jeter as the person to steal the MVP from Joe Mauer.
* David Biderman of the Wall Street Journal studied every team’s play-by-play announcer to determine who talks the most and found that the chattiest guy (Dan McLaughlin of the Cardinals) said twice as many words per minute as the least-chattiest guy (Duane Kuiper of the Giants). Actually, Vin Scully said by far the most words per minute, but a) he’s the only play-by-play guy who works without a partner/analyst, and b) he’s Vin Scully.
* Jarrod Saltalmacchia returned from the disabled list yesterday, but still expects to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome once the season ends and may be limited to bench duties down the stretch.
* Grady Sizemore is also talking about surgery and may opt to have his injured elbow operated on before the season ends. “I see both sides,” Sizemore said. “Every player wants to be out there and finish the season. But I understand the logic behind the conversation. They want to put me in a position to where I’m strong for next year.”

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.