Marcum gets Opening Day nod after sitting out '09

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Cito Gaston announced that Shaun Marcum will be the Blue Jays’ Opening Day starter, which is noteworthy given that he missed all of last season following Tommy John elbow surgery.
Roy Halladay started each of the past seven Opening Days for the Blue Jays, but he’ll be taking the mound for the Phillies in Game 1 this season and with 64 career starts Marcum actually has the most experience in Toronto’s post-Halladay rotation.
He’ll face the Rangers on April 5, and as Ed Price of Fanhouse points out Marcum may not be the only Opening Day starter who didn’t throw a pitch in 2009 if Ben Sheets of the A’s or Jake Westbrook of the Indians get the nod as well.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com notes that as of now Carl Pavano for the Yankees in 2007 and Scott Erickson for the Orioles in 2002 are the only pitchers since 2000 to start on Opening Day after missing all of the previous season. Pavano and Erickson combined to win just six games in those two seasons, so hopefully things go a little better for Marcum.
In those 64 career starts he’s 23-15 with a 3.85 ERA and 277/121 K/BB ratio in 362.2 innings.

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.