4:13 p.m. EDT update: According to Julia Morales of CSN Houston, Bedard simply needed an extra day or two between starts. No trade.
The Astros announced that Erik Bedard has been scratched from his schedule start Wednesday night, replaced by fellow left-hander Brett Oberholtzer.
No injury was given as the reason, suggesting that Bedard has either been traded or that something is close. He won’t bring the same kind of return that the team was hoping to get for Bud Norris, but he can be a fringe five- and six-inning starter for a contender. Bedard is 3-8 with a 4.28 ERA and a 95/52 K/BB ratio in 103 innings this year. He’s allowed just four earned runs over 16 1/3 innings in his last three outings.
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.