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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Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

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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.

President Obama pardons Willie McCovey

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 06:  San Francisco Giants legend Willie McCovey  waves to the crowd while seating between Jeff Kent (L) and Willie Mays during a ceremony honoring Buster Posey for winning the 2012 National League MVP before the Giants game against the St. Louis Cardinals at AT&T Park on April 6, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
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The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.

Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.

President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.

The Cardinals will know their punishment for the Astros hacking scandal soon

With the St. Louis Cardinals out of town on a road trip, Busch Stadium sits quiet Wednesday, June 17, 2015, in St. Louis. The team said Wednesday it hired a law firm several months ago to conduct an internal inquiry and to assist the FBI and Justice Department in their investigation into possible computer hacking of the Houston Astros database by members of the Cardinals organization. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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We’re pushing three years since the incident in which former St. Louis Cardinals scouting director Chris Correa hacked into the Houston Astros scouting and analytics database. It’s been a year and a half or so since it became known that, yes, a Cardinals employee was responsible. It’s been six months since Correa was sentenced to 46 months in prison for the hack.

Now, finally, we are to the point where the Cardinals themselves are going to be punished for the crime. From the Post-Dispatch:

“I expect, hope, that it will play out before the start of spring training,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said Monday. “I know the goal is, for the commissioner, to get things completed by late January, hopefully early February at the latest.”

Also from the Post-Disptach:

The Cardinals enjoyed a strong 2016 amateur draft while awaiting sanctions and also spent aggressively in the international market. In that sense, the franchise prepared for the potential loss of draft picks or international signing capability the franchise could suffer.

Well, at least they’ve been allowed to get their affairs in order.