Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Is it time to trade Kevin Youkilis?

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That’s not my question, it’s Kirk Minihane‘s question over at WEEI.  His point: the Sox need pitching, so why not trade Kevin Youkilis for some of it?

Your mileage may vary on that — it’s chatter-worthy for fans of the Sox, but sort of meaningless because it’s not happening — but I’m way more interested in this passage Minihane whipped out before proposing his idea:

The Red Sox did not collapse in September because they couldn’t hit. They didn’t collapse in September because of lack of leadership. They didn’t collapse in September because Terry Francona lost 75 baseball IQ points overnight. They didn’t collapse in September because Theo Epstein and Lucchino couldn’t stand each other. The Greatest Team That Ever Wasn’t went 7-20 in September because they could not pitch.

He may have a point here, but really, take away beer and chicken and front office drama, and there’s really not much fun to say about this team. Just a total buzzkill, ya know?

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.