Desmond Jennings

Rays promote Desmond Jennings from Triple-A Durham

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12:00 a.m. EDT update: Upton is staying put for now.  The Rays announced after the game that Jennings was being called up, but that he’d be taking shortstop Reid Brignac’s spot.  Brignac, whose demotion was long overdue, hit just .193/.234/.219 in 187 at-bats and was losing playing time at shortstop to Sean Rodriguez and Elliot Johnson.  Jennings will get starts in left while the Rays figure out what they’re doing with Upton.  Sam Fuld will lose some playing time, and Ben Zobrist figures to be used pretty strictly as a second baseman.

11:30 p.m. EDT update: Durham Bulls writer Adam Sobsey confirms that Jennings has been recalled by the Rays.  That doesn’t necessarily mean Upton is a goner — the Rays could use Jennings in left field — but the trade possibility remains very much alive.

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It sounds like the Rays have made a move, as they just pulled B.J. Upton from the game against the Royals and they scratched Desmond Jennings from Triple-A Durham’s lineup.

Washington has been the most common landing spot for Upton in trade rumors.

Upton was 1-for-4 tonight before being removed.  He’s been playing well of late, having hit .270/.333/.429 with three homers and 10 RBI in 16 games this month.  The Nationals have long coveted him to fill their hole in center field, and the 26-year-old is under control through 2012.

His replacement in center field with the Rays would be Jennings, who recently returned from a finger injury.  He’s hit .286/.426/.510 in 13 games this month and .275/.374/.456 overall for Durham.

Update: For what it’s worth, it’s possible we’re overreacting here.  The Rays were down by six runs and had already removed Matt Joyce from the contest.  Upton also could have been due a little rest, considering he had started every game since the break.  Still, there is a little evidence that something is going on.  Draysbay.com reports that Jennings was seen signing something in the managers office at Triple-A Durham before tonight’s game.

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.