Russell Martin

Russell Martin expects to be back with the Yankees in 2012

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Russell Martin signed with the Yankees as a free agent last offseason, but he remains arbitration eligible for 2012 and because of that the All-Star catcher said yesterday that he expects to be back in New York next season.

“So either I’ll get offered a contract or I won’t get offered a contract,” Martin told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. “It is the same situation I was in with the Dodgers last year. Now, it is up to the Yankees to make a decision. For me, I would like nothing more than to be here.”

Whereas the Dodgers non-tendered Martin following a career-worst, injury wrecked season, the Yankees will almost surely retain him for what will likely be around $6 million.

Martin’s overall numbers were mediocre and he cracked a .700 OPS in just two months, but for a one-year commitment at a hard-to-fill position he certainly makes sense after hitting .237 with 18 homers in 125 games. Among the 26 catchers to bat at least 300 times this season Martin ranked 14th in OPS and also threw out 30 percent of steal attempts.

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.