Athletics notes: McPherson, Beane, Desme

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athleticslogo.jpgAccording to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com, the Athletics have signed former top prospect Dallas McPherson to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training.



McPherson, 29, failed to make the
Marlins out of spring training last season, then underwent back surgery
in July after signing a minor league contract with the Giants.
McPherson was once a highly-touted prospect in the Angels’
organization, but he hasn’t done much on the major league level,
batting just .245/.298/.458 with 18 home runs and 45 RBI in parts of
four seasons while striking out 34 percent of the time.




Regardless, McPherson has walked
into a pretty good situation in Oakland. He is expected to compete for
a starting job in 2010, as Adam Kennedy and Bobby Crosby are free
agents and prospect Brett Wallace, who was acquired from St. Louis in the Matt Holliday trade, might not be ready for the jump to
the majors.




In other Athletics’ news, general manager Billy Beane was recently interviewed by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.
Beane would like top prospect Chris Carter to find a fit in the
outfield while he hopes Wallace can improve his defense at third base
in anticipation of a promotion to the major leagues. Finally, Beane has
some high praise for Grant Desme, who won the MVP of the Arizona Fall
League
, batting .315/.413/.667 with 11 home runs, 27 RBI and 30 runs
scored in 27 games. Though his strikeout rate is a concern, Beane
likens him to Jayson Werth of the Phillies.

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.