Jerry Manuel

Fifteen potential Red Sox managers

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I know this much: we won’t know who the next manager of the Red Sox is until the Red Sox hire someone. I know that probably blew your mind a little bit when I told you that, but it’s true.

Still, it’s fun to speculate and handicap the candidates, and today Gordon Edes does that, naming and assessing 15 potential candidates.

Many of the names are ones we’ve heard so far: DeMarlo Hale, Pete Mackanin, Trey Hillman. A couple of wild cards are Ryne Sandberg and Bud Black. Black is pretty insane, actually. His team’s owner basically said Black has a job for life if he wants it, and Black is a close friend of Terry Francona’s, so why on Earth he’d wade into the muck in Boston is beyond me.

And then there’s comedy: Jerry Manuel. Which I have to think would be vetoed by Fox and ESPN if the Red Sox seriously considered him.  I mean, the Yankees-Red Sox will probably always draw big numbers, but there’s no sense in tempting fate.

Final name of note: Joe McEwing. Who, while I guess he’s been a White Sox coach for a couple of years, is still an active player in my subjective little mind. Sure, it’s been four years, but he still isn’t over that “wait, he’s not playing any more?” hump.

Oh well. Have fun with the list.

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.