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Barry Zito expected to make scheduled start Sunday

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Barry Zito threw off flat ground yesterday and is expected to make his scheduled start Sunday against the Dodgers, according to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News.

Zito was involved in a two-car accident Wednesday night while driving his rented Cadillac in Los Angeles. While he walked away with a stiff neck, he said yesterday that things could have been a lot worse if his instincts didn’t take over.

“If I didn’t make a decision to hit the gas when I saw him, he would’ve hit the front of the car. Then it’d be a whole different story. “… It’s a scary sound, you know? Just to hear metal on metal crunching.

“Overall, I feel a whole lot better today than yesterday. I expect it to feel even better tomorrow.”

Zito underwent an MRI on Thursday morning which thankfully came back normal. While he continues to receive treatment, he was able to throw all of his pitches out of his windup yesterday. He looks like a go for Sunday.

Zito, 32, posted a 4.15 ERA over 199 1/3 innings last season. He is still owed $65 million through the 2013 season.

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.