Josh Johnson

Josh Johnson now hoping to return “at some point in August”

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Josh Johnson has been out since mid-May with a shoulder injury that was supposed to take just a couple weeks, but he received some good news from Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday and is now hoping to return “at some point in August,” according to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

Andrews found no structural damage in Johnson’s shoulder, which means no surgery is needed, but even an early August return would mean sitting out nearly three months.

And that’s far from a sure thing, as Johnson has been shut down for the next 10-14 days, after which he’ll have to restart the rehab process. Or as Frisaro put it: “The period of inactivity isn’t set in stone. It could be longer. The Florida ace will throw when the discomfort has disappeared.”

He’s going to miss at least half the season with an injury that the Marlins are still describing as merely “an aggravated shoulder.” I was going to write that something “seems fishy” until I realized how hacky that sounds about a Marlins player. But … well, something seems fishy.

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.