Kevin Millwood

Red Sox confirm Kevin Millwood signing, make seven roster moves

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The Red Sox aren’t acting like a team that has won six in a row.

On Friday, they turned over 12 percent of their major league roster, calling up infielder Drew Sutton, activating Dan Wheeler from the disabled list and activating the newly acquired Franklin Morales.  Going to make room were right-hander Michael Bowden, left-hander Hideki Okajima and shortstop Jose Iglesias.

The team also confirmed the Kevin Millwood signing and bumped both Okajima and outfielder Daniel Nava from the 40-man roster.

The Millwood signing would stink of desperation if the Red Sox weren’t so hot.  Millwood, though, might prove useful in a park that doesn’t yield a lot of homers, and though Fenway is rightfully considered a favorable hitter’s environment, it’s not a home run park.   One can surmise that the Red Sox took note of the fact that Millwood is 4-2 with a 3.62 ERA lifetime at Fenway, a particularly strong line given that Boston was typically running out some of the league’s best lineups during his starts.

The arrival of Morales led to the departure of Okajima.  Okajima had a 4.32 ERA in seven appearances since being recalled from Triple-A, but he wasn’t working his way up the depth chart, as evidenced by the fact that he hadn’t pitched in 10 days.  Morales’ upside was too tantalizing to ignore, and Okajima could always choose to remain with the team if he clears waivers.

Nava, a fun story last year, is also about to go on waivers.  The former indy leaguer, who his a grand slam in his first major league at-bat on June 12, 2010, was batting just .192/.321/.262 with no homers in 156 at-bats for Pawtucket.

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.