Ian Kinsler has been activated from the disabled list and will bat leadoff and play second base this afternoon against the Blue Jays. In turn, the Rangers have optioned Leury Garcia to Triple-A Round Rock and will keep Jurickson Profar around in a utility role.
Kinsler has been sidelined since May 17 due to a right intercostal strain, but he made it through two rehab games with Double-A Frisco without any issues. The 30-year-old returns to a .302/.369/.500 batting line to go along with seven home runs, 20 RBI, and three stolen bases in 40 games this season.
Profar, who was called up from the minors after Kinsler was injured, is batting .278/.326/.392 with two home runs, three doubles, and seven RBI in 87 plate appearances. It could be a challenge to get him enough at-bats to justify keeping him with the big club, so Anthony Andro of FOXSportsSouthwest.com notes that the Rangers plan to have him work with third base coach Gary Pettis on outfield drills. It should be an interesting situation to monitor.
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.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
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.