Josh Lewin won't be back as Rangers' play-by-play announcer

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Rangers television analyst Tom Grieve has agreed to a three-year contract extension, but the team announced today that play-by-play man Josh Lewin will not be back after nine seasons on the job.
Lewin and the Rangers seem to have parted ways on good terms, but he’s generally considered one of the best in the business and letting him go is certainly curious. Lewin also does national games for FOX and is the San Diego Chargers’ announcer, so the Rangers may have wanted someone available to them exclusively.
I’ve often tuned into Rangers’ games specifically because I enjoyed the Lewin-Grieve pairing and as a Minnesotan would gladly pay several hundred dollars per season to have Lewin announce Twins games. He’s smart and funny, and had an excellent on-air chemistry with Grieve. I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t land another prominent play-by-play gig and wouldn’t be surprised if leaving the Rangers led to a higher-profile position.

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.