Heath Bell

The Blue Jays are interested in Heath Bell for some reason

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Pop quiz, hot shot! You’re eleven games back in the AL East with practically no hope whatsoever of contending. The trade deadline is approaching. What do you do? Tell me! What. Do. You. Do?

Well, if you’re the Blue Jays you inquire about the best closer currently available.  At least that’s what Ken Rosenthal says that the Jays are doing, calling on the Padres about Heath Bell.

It makes little sense, though Rosenthal says that they’re looking at him long term rather than just as a rental, and that having him in-house as the season ends would give them a leg up in negotiations.  Maybe — I have no idea how Bell’s bread is buttered and maybe he likes to stay in places where he’s comfy — but it seems odd that they’s want to give up anything of value for him under such risky circumstances.

And even if it were simply fishing for draft pick compensation following an arbitration offer this fall, it strikes me that whatever they’d have to give up for him would largely offset the value of those picks, so why bother?

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.