marlins new park

Marlins’ new park 50% done, premium tickets selling quickly

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Marlins president David Samson has teamed up with MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro to provide fans (and casual onlookers) with an inside look at the progress of the club’s new ballpark construction.

According to the most recent update, the new park is nearly 50% complete and premium season tickets for the stadium — set to open in 2012 — are nearly sold out.

367 of the 379 seats in the all-inclusive Diamond Club, set up right behind home plate, have been claimed for the entire 2012 season.  216 of 296 seats in the Dugout Club, which hugs the first- and third-base lines, have also been purchased for 2012.

The Marlins are confident that the new stadium will be filled throughout its debut season, which should allow them to expand their payroll.  Whether the fans will continue to pour in is another matter and may have more to do with wins and losses than anything.

Check out more on the retractable-roof stadium’s progress over at MLB.com.

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.