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Royals call up pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi for debut

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With their Triple-A team eliminated from the Pacific Coast League playoffs the Royals have called up pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi for his first taste of the big leagues.

Odorizzi was the Brewers’ first-round pick in 2007 and was traded to the Royals as part of the haul for Zack Greinke. He rated among Baseball America‘s top 100 prospects both this season and last season, and increased his stock this year with a very nice performance between Double-A and Triple-A.

In 145 total innings Odorizzi posted a 3.03 ERA and 135/50 K/BB ratio at age 22.

He’ll eventually be in the rotation, but Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals will likely have Odorizzi get his feet wet with some bullpen work before potentially making a start or two.

Odorizzi is the last of the four players acquired for Greinke to arrive in Kansas City, joining Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, and Jeremy Jeffress on the Royals’ roster.

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.