Dustin McGowan could be out until 2012 following another shoulder surgery

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Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos revealed yesterday that Dustin McGowan will need another shoulder surgery following his latest setback, knocking him out for a second straight season and putting the once-promising right-hander’s career in serious jeopardy.
McGowan hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors since July of 2008 and felt a “pop” while rehabbing his surgically repaired shoulder last week, with Anthopoulos indicating that a return in 2011 isn’t assured.
Armed with a mid-90s fastball and very good slider McGowan had a 4.03 ERA and 211 strikeouts in 255 innings from the beginning of 2007 through mid-June of 2008, but then posted a 5.81 ERA over his next five starts before being shut down. Two surgeries and at least 30 months on the sidelines later, he might be considered an underdog to improve upon his career total of 20 wins.

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.