UPDATE: Several teams in on Japanese left-hander

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Sunday: Roch Kubatko of MASN hears that Takahashi has rejected offers from the Mets and Orioles.  Scratch two more teams off the list.

Saturday, 6:09pm: Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News tweets that the Giants are assuming Takahashi will accept a minor league offer elsewhere.

Saturday, 2:39 pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets
that the Mets, Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers, Pirates and Padres are all
“considering” Japanese left-hander Hisanori Takahashi. “Considering”
can mean a lot of things, but earlier this week, Patrick Newman of NPB
Tracker passed along a Japanese media report which mentioned that the
Red Sox, Giants, Dodgers and Padres had all offered him minor league contracts. Heyman expects him to choose a team soon.

Takahashi,
who turns 35 in April, was 79-66 with a 3.70 ERA in 245 career games
with the Yomiuri Giants. The soft-tossing lefty projects as reliever in
the major leagues, and as far back as November, Newman suggested that he would be a good fit in the National League West. Sounds like he could be right on the money.

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.