Ricky Nolasco

Agent: Ricky Nolasco and Marlins “about 20 percent” apart in contract extension talks

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Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins have been trying to work out a long-term contract extension for months and agent Matt Sosnick said yesterday that the two sides have agreed to an acceptable number of years but are “about 20 percent” apart on the salaries.

That may not seem like much of a gap, but it probably represents at least $4 million and perhaps as much as $7 million. In other words, there’s likely plenty of negotiating still to be done.

Sosnick also represents Marlins ace Josh Johnson, who after some similarly tough negotiations eventually signed a four-year, $39 million deal with the Marlins in January.

Nolasco is unlikely to get that much because he’s not as good as Johnson and is already under team control through 2012 as an arbitration eligible player, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com expects a deal of some kind to get worked out before spring training.

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.