Chicago Cubs v Atlanta Braves

Carlos Zambrano’s apology tour is unlikely to be successful

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Carlos Zambrano may be going on an apology tour, but according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s going to be unsuccessful.

Wittenmyer takes the pulse of the Cubs’ front office and clubhouse and believes strongly that Zambrano has thrown his last pitch as a Cub. He calls Zambrano’s interview with CSNChicago.com part of “an image-fixing publicity tour of handpicked media outlets,” and says that it’s against the advice of Zambrano’s agent.  He also notes that neither Jim Hendry nor Mike Quade are impressed with it.  He believes that no matter what happens with Big Z’s grievance, the Cubs will keep him away from the team for the rest of the season and that they’ll continue to try to trade him in the winter.

Of course Zambrano is virtually untradeable, and certainly without the Cubs paying all or nearly all of his 2012 salary.  And when that dawns on the Cubs, it’s not hard to imagine them simply releasing the guy, because it means more or less the same to them.

So yes, we’ve seen the Zambrano contrition parade in the past. But it seems like we’re about to see a brand new outcome.

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.