Boston Red Sox Jackie Bradley singles in front of New York Yankees Chris Stewart in MLB game in New York

Red Sox likely sending Jackie Bradley Jr. back to minors

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Jackie Bradley Jr. has started to lose playing time amid his struggles and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox will “likely” send the 23-year-old back to the minors when David Ortiz returns from the disabled list Friday.

Bradley is 5-for-38 (.097) with one extra-base hit in 12 games, although he has drawn six walks and stolen a base. There was plenty of debate about whether the Red Sox should have kept him at Triple-A to begin the season due to service time issues, but sending him to Triple-A now would serve the same purpose if he stays for a while.

Minnesota made a similar choice in going with 23-year-old Aaron Hicks as the Opening Day center fielder and he’s hitting even worse than Bradley at 2-for-45 (.044), which is a reminder that fan and media cries for teams to “put the best players on the field” aren’t always so cut and dried with rookies.

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.