About that four-game sweep by the Mets . . .

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In this morning’s recaps I expressed surprise that the Mets four-game sweep of the Pirates was the first time they had swept a four-game series in four years. Reader The Dangerous Mabry tells me that I shouldn’t have been so shocked:

The four game sweep thing only seems like a meaningful stat.  The mighty New York Yankees, who win a hell of a lot of baseball games, have swept exactly one four-game series in the past four seasons. Same as the (seemingly) lowly Mets. Given the relative scarcity of four game sets, as well as the overall winning percentage of baseball teams and the variance in starting pitching quality, it’s not that surprising.  But
it sure does sound bad.

UPDATE: Many readers have pointed out that the fact about the Yankees is simply false — they swept the A’s in a four-gamer just two weeks ago. My laziness for letting that by is pretty inexcusable, really.

But yeah, the fact that there aren’t a ton of four-game series anymore is something that should have occurred to me when I wrote that.  That’s what I get for punting the writeups until the morning they publish rather than getting a jump-start on them the evening before. Less time to, you know, think.

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.