Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

Dan Lozano shopped Albert Pujols to the Yankees

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In news that should come as no surprise at all, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports that agent Dan Lozano placed a phone call to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman early in the free agency process to gauge his interest in Albert Pujols.

Cashman’s Yankees are locked into first baseman Mark Teixeira through 2016 at a rate of $22.5 million per year and will need the DH spot for Jesus Montero and some of the club’s aging stars, so the conversation with Lozano did not last very long.

Here’s what Cashman told Hoch on Thursday:

“I said no; I gave it a nice, respectful no. We’ve made our commitments, we have guys we’re committed to, and so … even though you can say he can fit on anybody’s club, realistically our money is spent in those directions. How do you add that with our commitments? You just can’t. It’s not feasible. They just checked in. It was more, I’m sure, on [Lozano’s] list of things — ‘I have to ask, because I’ve got to do my job. But even Dan Lozano recognized [that with] Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, [Jesus] Montero — there’s no vacancy here. I think if you were in my chair, you’d be in the same decision-making mode.”

In the end, Lozano didn’t need the Evil Empire to drive Pujols’ market value into the range of insanity.

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.