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Matt Garza on playing the Cubs: “I’m going to try to kick their teeth in”

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Matt Garza has some fightin’ words for his former team. The right-hander doesn’t have any real grudge against the Cubs, as he previously stated that he enjoyed playing in Chicago, but vowed to try to “kick their teeth in” every time he’s on the hill for the Brewers against them.

Via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:

“And I wish them the best,” he said. “But I like where I’m at, and I’m going to try to kick their teeth in every time I get a chance.”

Nothing personal. Mostly.

Garza has only made three starts against former teams. He handled the Twins well, but was shelled by the Rays.

  • vs. Twins (2 starts): 14.0 IP, 4 ER, 15 K, 4 BB, 2 HR
  • vs. Rays (1 start): 4.1 IP, 6 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 1 HR

As Cubs are an NL Central rival, Garza should make two or three starts against them by the end of the regular season.

The Brewers signed Garza to a four-year, $50 million contract at the end of January. In two and a half seasons with the Cubs and a half-season with the Rangers, Garza posted an aggregate 3.62 ERA with 429 strikeouts in 457 innings. Now 30 years old, the Brewers are hoping Garza can continue pitching well — he has posted an ERA of 3.95 or lower in every single one of his full seasons in the big leagues.

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.