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Report: Royals to sign Brad Boxberger

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Fancred’s Jon Heyman reports that the Royals and reliever Brad Boxberger are close to an agreement on a one-year, $2.2 million contract that also includes performance incentives.

Boxberger, 30, was the Diamondbacks’ closer last season. He saved 32 games with a 4.39 ERA and a 71/32 K/BB ratio in 53 1/3 innings. The right-hander was an All-Star reliever in 2015 with the Rays, leading the league with 41 saves, but struggled to stay healthy in 2016-17.

Wily Peralta handled most of the scant save opportunities for the lowly Royals last season, accruing 14 saves with a 3.67 ERA an da 35/23 K/BB ratio in 34 1/3 innings. It is not clear yet if Boxberger will assume the closer’s role from Peralta or serve as the set-up man. According to MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan, that will be cleared up by how each player performs in spring training.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.