Joe Girardi

The Yankees want to extend Joe Girardi’s contract

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Joe Girardi gets a vote of confidence and then some from Brian Cashman. Via ESPN New York:

“We’d like to have Joe Girardi back … We have a great interest in keeping him, and hopefully Joe will be here. … I think there’s really no reason to believe Joe won’t be here.”

That’s not even a dreaded vote of confidence. That’s a rare-for-New York expression of a desire to do an extension many months before said extension is necessary.

And I think it’s the right call. It’s not Joe Girardi’s fault all of the stars the Yankees were supposed to feature this year have been hurt. It is much to his credit that the Yankees have been as competitive as they have been thus far without those stars.

More importantly: Girardi, unlike just about any Yankees manager in living memory, keeps things on an even keel. There is always drama in New York, of course, but way, way more of it is outside of the clubhouse than in these days. It’s in the front office and in the imaginations of the media quite often, but rarely do you hear of players having issues with Girardi or vice-versa. Either he’s well-liked or he manages to defuse things discreetly, either of which is a valuable tool to have when managing in New York.

I see no reason why the Yankees would want to consider going with someone else at all.

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.