Andrelton Simmons

The Braves interested in extensions for Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran

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They locked up Freddie Freeman for eight years and Jason Heyward for two. Now the Braves are looking at some of their other young guys:

 

Seems smart for a team that isn’t going to be a big free agent player and — if you believe them — will be able to spend more on salaries once they move into the new ballpark. It’s also interesting to note that all of these moves to lock up a young core come after they hired John Hart as a consultant a couple months back. Locking up the young guys like this was his m.o. in Cleveland in the 90s.

At any rate, deals for these young guys are a smart move. Basically, everyone except Craig Kimbrel is worth at least a look for this sort of thing. Not sure I’d go long with a closer given the track record, lest you wind up with a Jonathan Papelbon contract. But otherwise: go for it, guys.

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.