The Yankees get a hefty luxury tax bill

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The luxury tax is an arrangement by which teams [cough! — the Yankees — cough!] whose payroll exceeds a certain
figure determined each year are taxed on the excess amount. The tax is
paid to the league which then puts the money into its “industry-growth
fund.” I guess the industry as grown so it wouldn’t be appropriate to call it a slush fund or anything, but I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a breakdown of what actually happens to that dough.

Anyway, the Yankees have paid the tax every year since it was invented. In fact, they have paid $174 million of the tax’s $190 million in total collections since 2003.  They are the sole team to pay it this year, getting rung up for $25.69 million. Put differently, their luxury tax is something like 70% of the Marlins total payroll.

Yet, despite the huge and disproportionate tax bill, they continue to prosper and don’t scream about tyranny and socialism and all of that. Not that I’m making a political statement or anything. That would be outside the scope of this blog, and I’d never ever go off on a non-baseball tangent, no sir. 

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.