Joe Girardi

The Yankees are going to stick with six starters for a while

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The Yankees six starters thing is kind of interesting to me simply because it’s not common, it’s less common on good teams than it is on bad teams and it’s really not that often that such arrangements last longer than a couple of weeks or so.  But the Yankees are still going with it for a while longer says Joe Girardi.

This is an about-face for the him, as he said before yesterday that he’d send either Phil Hughes or A.J. Burnett to the bullpen after the series with the Blue Jays.  But both of them will stay in the rotation for at least one more turn before it’s cut back to five men.

Hard to blame him.  The Orioles are up next, and what better opponent is there to give a couple of shaky guys confidence?  And what possible harm, with a playoff spot locked up, is there to giving the starters who the Yankees will really need to be ready for the playoffs — Sabathia, Nova and Garcia — a little more time off between turns?

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.