Kansas City Royals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

Royals lose Nori Aoki to DL, bring back Justin Maxwell

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Troubled by a groin injury in recent days, Nori Aoki was placed on the disabled list by the Royals on Saturday, with Justin Maxwell getting called up to replace him.

Aoki has been quite the disappointment since coming over from the Brewers for reliever Will Smith in the offseason, though he was hitting better of late, going 7-for-19 with three doubles in his last five starts. Because of the groin injury, he didn’t play Wednesday and he was limited to a pinch-hitting appearance last night.

With Aoki out, the Royals figure to platoon Jarrod Dyson and Justin Maxwell in the outfield, which might actually be an upgrade. Dyson, who will start in center and lead off against righties, is the superior defensive outfielder, and he’s hit .296/.346/.316 this year compared to .263/.326/.324 for Aoki. Maxwell didn’t have any success in 32 at-bats before being cut by the Royals earlier this season, but he’s a lifetime .231/.347/.411 hitter against lefties.

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.