All quiet on the Holliday front

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While Jason Bay and many of the second-tier free agents are getting serious play, things have been pretty quiet on the subject of this winter’s No. 1 free agent, Matt Holliday, during the first two days of the winter meetings.
The Cardinals haven’t given up on re-signing Holliday yet, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this morning that the parties were described as being “on different sides of a gulch” to “in a different universe” when it came to negotiations.
The Red Sox are known to have talked extensively with agent Scott Boras, and it’s safe to assume that Holliday’s name came up several times. However, the team is continuing to negotiate with Jason Bay as well. It’s possible that GM Theo Epstein won’t make a real run at Holliday until he knows what Bay is doing.
There’s nothing to indicate anyone besides maybe the Cardinals have made Holliday an offer. The Mets will most likely be interested at the right price and it’d be foolish to rule out the Yankees until the day that Holliday puts pen to paper, but there are no other obvious potential suitors at the moment. The Mariners and Giants prefer to spend elsewhere, and the Angels have repeatedly said they’re not interested. All signs point to Holliday remaining unsigned through Christmas and likely into 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.