Danny Espinosa, Allen Craig

Nationals “trying to trade” Danny Espinosa

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Last week the Nationals indicated that they’re unlikely to call up Opening Day second baseman Danny Espinosa from the minors when rosters expand in September and now Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that they’re “trying to trade” him.

Espinosa hit .158 in 44 games for the Nationals to earn the demotion and is hitting .208 with two homers and an awful 97/18 K/BB ratio in 70 games at Triple-A. That’s enough to make any player fall out of favor with an organization and the fact that rookie Anthony Rendon is now locked in as the starting second baseman makes it even less likely that Espinosa is part of the Nationals’ long-term plans.

Of course, teams probably aren’t lining up for a guy who’s looked as lost as Espinosa this season and there are also questions about the health of his shoulder. He’s making the minimum salary this season, is cheap enough to keep around in a part-time role next year, and is under team control through at least 2016, but Espinosa is a major reclamation project.

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.