Alfonso Soriano

The Phillies discussed a Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano trade

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This isn’t happening, it seems. But it was discussed, and if it had happened it would have been pretty spiffy for a number of reasons: Jon Heyman reports that the Phillies talked to the Cubs about a straight-up deal of Domonic Brown for Alfonso Soriano.

Man, imagine this one a couple of years ago when Soriano was considered the most expensive dead carcass of a ballplayer and Brown was still considered an up and coming prospect. Then Brown continued to struggle and Soriano, while still never being worth his contract — he’s owed $36 million over the next two seasons — had a decent year last year. And, more importantly, the Cubs seem willing to pay a lot to unload him.

Pretty close to a challenge trade: is there enough left if Soriano and enough time for Brown to realize his once great potential? Such a deal would probably scare Cubs and Phillies fans, but for the rest of us it would be pretty fascinating.

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.