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Brian Wilson ‘less than 50-50’ to start season with Giants

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The odds of San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson being ready for the start of the regular season aren’t looking good.
From Chris Haft of MLB.com:

“I’ll be honest — I think it’s less than 50-50,” (manager Bruce) Bochy said when asked about Wilson’s chances of being on the active roster when the Giants open their defense of their World Series championship Thursday at Los Angeles. “But we’re not going to rule him out completely.”

As Haft points out, missing the start of the season isn’t necessarily a huge deal. If they put Wilson on the DL, he could be eligible to play by April 5. They will take their time bringing him back, not wanting his oblique injury to linger during the season.

If Wilson is unable to go, Bochy can call on a deep bullpen that includes two pitchers with some closing experience from last season in Jeremy Affeldt and Santiago Casilla.

The manager says he has already made a decision on what he will do with the closer’s role if Wilson is sidelined, but said he wasn’t “prepared to announce which way we’re going to go.”

Wilson saved 48 regular season games in 2010, and six more in the postseason as the Giants won their first championship since 1954.

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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.