Report: Instigator Posada gets four-game ban

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According to the New York Daily News, both Jorge Posada and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Carlson have received four-game suspensions for their actions that started a brawl Tuesday.
Posada’s penalty is clearly the harsher of the two, even if the time off is the same. Position players, starting pitchers and relievers are all treated differently when it comes to handing out suspensions, and if the league office had thought Carlson was as much at fault as Posada, he would have faced a longer ban.
As is, the penalties seem fair. Posada didn’t set off the brawl directly, so he doesn’t get quite the five- or six-game penalty that’s usually handed out to players who charge the mound. Still, he practically forced Carlson to respond when he delivered the quick shove after crossing home plate.
6:30 pm update – It now appears as though both Posada and Carlson will serve three-game suspensions, with the condition being that neither will appeal. That follows a common trend that’s developed these last couple of years: if the players decline to contend suspensions in a hearing, they’ll usually get a game knocked off, which is the best they can typically hope for in a hearing anyway. Both players will be begin serving their suspensions tonight.

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.