Scout: Joe Mauer will be the next Yankees catcher

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Reporters like to talk to scouts before games. They’re more available than front office people, usually just sitting out in the stands or walking around the ballpark before games. They’re less guarded, too. Like the reporter they’re kind of out there on their own on the road a lot, and when you engage them they’re eager to share. Share stuff like this, which one scout told the Daily News’ Bill Madden:

“But in my opinion the next catcher for the Yankees will be Joe Mauer. Imagine if the Twins don’t sign him and he goes out there on the market next winter with both the Yankees and Red Sox
in need of a catcher? That will be the wildest bidding war in baseball
history, and don’t think his agent doesn’t know it. And if they (Twins)
decide to trade him, the Yankees have the better pieces to get him.”

Not that everything scouts say is stuff you want to hear.

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.