St. Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates

Except for one clunker start A.J. Burnett has been dominant for the Pirates

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A.J. Burnett’s overall numbers are plenty good, as last night’s seven innings of one-run ball versus the Reds lowered his ERA to 3.60 in 50 innings.

However, one terrible start against the Cardinals on May 2 accounts for 60 percent of the earned runs Burnett has allowed all season. Seriously.

He coughed up 12 runs in 2.2 innings versus St. Louis that day and if you remove that ugly outing from his season totals Burnett has a 1.52 ERA and 40/13 K/BB ratio in 47 innings while holding opponents to a .208 batting average.

That one ugly start still happened, of course, so completely ignoring it would be silly, but considering how disappointing he was for the Yankees and how many people wrote him off as washed up Burnett deserves some attention. And the Pirates are looking plenty smart for taking him off the Yankees’ hands for pennies on the dollar.

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.