Tom Walter

Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter donates a kidney to one of his players

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When a guy makes a boneheaded play and the manager defends him during the presser after the game, that manager is called a “player’s manager.”  We’re probably going to need a new term to describe the lengths Wake Forest baseball coach Tom Walter goes for his guys:

When Tom Walter recruits players, he often describes the family atmosphere at Wake Forest. On Monday, he backed up those words by donating one of his kidneys to a player in need—freshman outfielder Kevin Jordan … Walter said that as soon as he had the support of his family, Wake Forest athletic director Ron Wellman and his team, donating a kidney to Jordan was a “no-brainer decision.”

“I would do anything to help any one of my players or any of my family members—anything in my power to help them have a better quality of life is something that I want to do,” Walter said.

I have this feeling that I’m going to come down ever harder than I normally do the next time some big league manager throws one of his players under the bus over some silly P.R. thing.

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.