Report: Braves on verge of acquiring Derrek Lee from Cubs

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According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com the Braves are close to trading for Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, who will reportedly agree to the move despite using his no-trade rights to turn down a proposal to join the Angels last month.
Whereas the Angels were hovering around .500 and barely clinging to contention at the time Lee rejected that trade the Braves are in first place with the NL’s second-best record at 70-47.
Lee is an impending free agent and has recently been sidelined by a back injury, so Kaplan reports that “the trade is not expected to land the Cubs much in the way of talent” in return. Instead the Braves are apparently willing to absorb most of his remaining salary.
Lee has hit just .251/.335/.416 in 109 games this season for his first sub-.800 OPS since 1999, but even that would be an upgrade over the non-existent production the Braves have gotten at first base recently from the slumping Troy Glaus and Lee has hit .315/.359/.542 with six homers and nine doubles over the past 30 games.

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.