Craig Counsell open to trade after reportedly clearing waivers

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Buster Olney of ESPN.com reported earlier this week that Craig Counsell has cleared waivers and the veteran infielder said yesterday that he’d be open to a trade to a contender.
Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin sought approval from Jim Edmonds before trading him to Cincinnati and Counsell indicated that Melvin discussed a similar possibility with him.

You always know it’s possible. We’ve talked about it. We talked about it last year. We’ve talked about it this year. We try to keep things upfront. I appreciate it a lot, for sure. I know I’ll hear stuff that’s important from Doug first. He said people have called but that’s it.

As a soon-to-be 40-year-old hitting just .246/.317/.305 in 83 games this season Counsell won’t be at the top of any contender’s wish list for a stretch-drive pickup, but he’s still capable of drawing some walks, getting on base, and providing some defensive versatility in a part-time role.
Counsell told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he’s leaning toward returning for a 16th season in 2011, but added that the idea of going to a contender is “intriguing” because “as you get older you want to win” and “you don’t know how many years you’ve got left.”

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.