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Oscar Taveras needs season-ending ankle surgery

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From Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch comes word that top prospect Oscar Taveras will undergo season-ending surgery next week to help the healing of his high right ankle sprain — an injury that has been bothering Taveras since May 12.

Taveras was supposed to light it up at Triple-A Memphis this season and then make his major league debut by the middle of the summer, but he injured his ankle on a hard slide into second base in his 31st game with the Memphis Rebirds and has experienced setback after setback with his rehab.

The 21-year-old Dominican outfielder wound up batting .306/.341/.462 with five home runs, five stolen bases and 32 RBI in a total of 46 games this season in the Pacific Coast League. He hit .321/.380/.572 with 23 home runs, 10 stolen bases and 94 RBI in 124 games last year at Double-A Springfield.

The Cardinals fully expect Taveras to be ready for the beginning of spring training next February in Jupiter, Florida and he could be the starting center fielder in St. Louis on Opening Day 2014.

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.