Russell Martin

Russell Martin hates the Red Sox

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The funny thing is that if Boston had offered him an extra $1 million, he’d likely be playing for the Red Sox right now.

Martin, who chose instead to try to resurrect his career with the Yankees last winter, told ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand, “I hate the Red Sox.”

“Anything to get the Red Sox out would be awesome for me,” he said one day before the teams square off in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Martin couldn’t isolate exactly why he feels as he does.

“I guess it just comes with the territory,” Martin said. “When you wear the pinstripes, you just kind of learn to be that way.”

Maybe.  But if Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia hate the Red Sox, they sure have done a good job of covering it up.  Mostly it seems like the best players on both teams have great respect for the best on the other, perhaps with some exceptions pertaining to Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett and Joba Chamberlain.

The Red Sox and Yankees were the finalists for Martin’s services last winter after he was let go by the Dodgers.  The Red Sox opted to stick with Jarrod Saltalamacchia after Martin took the Yankees’ $2.5 million offer, and it’s worked out quite well for both teams.  Red Sox catchers are fourth in the AL with a .743 OPS this year, while Yankees catchers are eighth at .716.  Martin himself is hitting .236/.323/.404 in 406 at-bats.

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.