Nelson Cruz to come off disabled list tomorrow

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One of the hottest hitters in baseball before landing on the disabled list with a hamstring injury late last month, Nelson Cruz avoided a setback during a brief rehab assignment at Triple-A and is expected to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup tomorrow.
Cruz told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com that his time on the DL was “tough” and “boring” while adding that he’s “excited” to see what the Rangers’ lineup is capable of now that he’s back and Ian Kinsler is healthy. Prior to the injury Cruz hit .323 with seven homers and a 1.117 OPS in 19 games batting fifth in the lineup, but Kinsler has since claimed that spot and Cruz will move down to sixth in the order.
Julio Borbon and Elvis Andrus has struggled to give the Rangers much production from the leadoff spot, but a two through six of Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Kinsler, and Cruz has a chance to do some major damage and rookie Justin Smoak gives them another potential big bat at No. 7.

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.