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Carlos Guillen makes return from microfracture surgery this afternoon

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As expected, the Tigers have activated Carlos Guillen from the 60-day disabled list. He’ll bat seventh and play second base this afternoon against the White Sox.

Guillen hasn’t played in the major leagues this season following microfracture surgery on his right knee last September. The 35-year-old batted .318 (12-for-38) with one home run and eight RBI over 12 games with Triple-A Toledo during his minor league rehab assignment.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Chris Iott of MLive.com that he’s hoping Guillen can represent an upgrade offensively.

“We’re expecting him to play well for us and contribute offensively,” Dombrowski said. “It’s up to Jim (Leyland) when he plays him, of course, but we’re bringing him back to play second base the majority of the time.”

Tigers’ second basemen have combined to bat just .241/.301/.334 with six homers and a .635 OPS this season.

Guillen’s return actually works out quite nicely for the Tigers, who have a couple weeks to see whether he can actually handle playing second base on a regular basis. If not, they could eventually move him into a platoon with Brandon Inge at third and pick up a second baseman before the July 31 trade deadline.

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.