Former big leaguer Powell kills self at age 35

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Brian Powell, who went 7-18 with a 5.94 ERA for four teams over five big-league seasons, shot himself Monday in Florida, leaving behind a wife and three children.
Powell, an All-American at the University of Georgia, pitched for the U.S. in the World Cup in 2004. He was a second-round pick of the Tigers in 1995. He made the majors three years later and went 3-8 with a 6.35 ERA in 16 starts and two relief appearances.
After 1998, he was part of a trade with the Astros that put Brad Ausmus and C.J. Nitkowski in Detroit. Unable to establish himself in Houston, he returned to the Tigers in 2002 and went 1-5 with a 4.84 ERA. His major league career ended in 2004, and he called it quits for good after going 7-13 with a 5.82 ERA for Triple-A New Orleans in 2005.

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.