Aaron Harang

Aaron Harang (foot) unlikely to return before All-Star break

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Aaron Harang threw a bullpen session yesterday as he recovers from a foot injury, but manager Bud Black told Dan Hayes of the North County Times that the right-hander is unlikely to rejoin the Padres’ rotation before the All-Star break.

Harang provided a nice return on the Padres’ modest $4 million offseason investment by throwing 80 innings with a 3.71 ERA and 55/25 K/BB ratio before being placed on the disabled list three weeks ago, posting a 7-2 record after going 18-38 in his final three seasons with the Reds.

Harang told Hayes that he’s “itching to get back” but also understands why the Padres would play it safe in an effort to get him at full strength for the second half, when they may look to trade him to a contender in need of some short-term rotation help. He’s under contract for $3.5 million year, with a $5 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012.

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.