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Astros demote Marwin Gonzalez, designate Wade LeBlanc for assignment

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The Astros announced this evening that left-hander Wade LeBlanc has been designated for assignment while infielder Marwin Gonzalez has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City. The team will announce corresponding roster moves tomorrow.

LeBlanc was claimed off waivers from the Marlins earlier this month and allowed five runs (four earned) on four hits and three walks over 3 2/3 innings with the club. The 29-year-old has a 5.50 ERA and 32/18 K/BB ratio in 52 1/3 innings over seven starts and nine relief appearances overall this season.

Gonzalez has struggled after getting off to a hot start this season, hitting just .230 with a .589 OPS and a 33/5 K/BB ratio in 54 games. Prospect shortstop Jonathan Villar is a possibility to replace him on the active roster, though Jake Elmore could be called up first as a stopgap.

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.