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Mariners raise ticket prices, decline to tell anyone

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No, really, they weren’t trying to deceive buyers. It was a totally innocent case of simply wanting more money.

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times tells the story of Mariners fan Dave Hope, who was stunned to see his season-ticket price plan go up $692 when he got his bill this month.

When the Mariners sent out a mass email renewal letter to season-ticket holders, they said nothing about increasing prices. Season-ticket packages climbed as much as 7 percent in certain areas of the ballpark, and partial packages were up as high as 11 percent. However, some less desirable seats actually had their ticket prices cut by three percent.

“It varies from section to section,” Mariners senior VP Randy Adamack said. “That’s why it’s difficult to show on the map.”

Huh? What? It would have been remarkably easy to show on a map. In fact, that’s exactly what you should have done.

In their defense, Mariners tickets are still better priced than most. Still, the team has finished in last place three straight year, attendance has declined five straight years and payroll has dropped four straight years. A price hike is going to be a very tough sell.

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.