Chris Volstad

Chris Volstad, Vin Mazzaro, Brayan Pena among Royals’ roster cuts

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Kansas City trimmed seven players from its 40-man roster today by designating them for assignment, including catcher Brayan Pena and right-handers Chris Volstad and Vin Mazzaro.

Pena has been the Royals’ backup catcher for the past four seasons, but hasn’t hit since a solid showing in 2009 and has a career .248 batting average with a .635 OPS in 335 games at age 31.

Volstad was claimed off waivers from the Cubs last month, but at the time I noted that it was odd because the Royals seemingly shouldn’t want to keep him at his likely $2-3 million arbitration price for 2013. It turns out they didn’t.

Mazzaro was acquired from the A’s for David DeJesus in November of 2010, but he’s been terrible for the Royals with a 6.22 ERA and 36/34 K/BB ratio in 72 innings.

Other Royals roster cuts: Left-hander Ryan Verdugo, catcher Adam Moore, first baseman Clint Robinson, and outfielder Derrick Robinson.

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.