The Phillies designate Nelson Figueroa for assignment

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nelson figueroa headshot mets.jpgThe Phillies activated Brad Lidge today. In order to make room for him they designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment. You know the drill: ten days to trade him, release him or send him down to the minor leagues.  The smart money is on the releasing, of course, because that’s just how these things usually go.

Figueroa appeared in nine games for the Phillies, one of which was a start.  He gave up 19 hits, struck out eight and walked eight in 18.2 innings, so he wasn’t exactly fooling anyone. In addition to giving up ten runs of his own, he’s allowed two of four inherited runners to score.  That’s not good, even though I’m certain that the Mets would rather have him back than to have to see Ollie Perez come out of the pen anymore.

He is 2 for 4 at the plate this year, however, and with the way the Phillies offense is going I’m somewhat surprised they let such a slugger go . . .

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.