Rangers knock around potential trade target Roy Oswalt

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Teams will often acquire players who have done well against them, which is natural on one level and kind of silly on another.
For instance, a couple years ago the Twins acquired veteran outfielder Craig Monroe from the Cubs and repeatedly talked about how he was a career .321 hitter against them. Monroe went on to hit .202 in 58 games for the Twins, who released him in August.
I bring all of this up partly because I’m still bitter about the Twins wasting $3.8 million on Monroe and partly because the Rangers knocked Roy Oswalt around yesterday after various reports put them in the mix for the Astros’ on-the-block right-hander.
Oswalt coughed up a season-high eight runs, including homers to Josh Hamilton and Michael Young, and fell to 4-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 12 career starts against the Rangers. Afterward manager Ron Washington stressed that Oswalt “still looked like he had something left” despite the poor outing, which is definitely true.
Thanks to horrendous run support from Houston’s terrible lineup (and the occasional clunker like he turned in yesterday) Oswalt leads the league with 10 losses compared to just five wins, but don’t let that fool you into thinking he’s pitched poorly. Oswalt has a 3.55 ERA, .231 opponents’ batting average, and 97/29 K/BB ratio in 104 innings, which is certainly good enough for him to be 10-5 instead of 5-10.
Of course, also worth noting is that Oswalt has a 3.73 ERA in 28 career interleague starts, compared to a 3.20 mark in the NL.

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.