The Phillies have clinched their first losing season since 2002

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Cole Hamels gave up six runs over seven innings last night as the Phillies lost 6-4 to the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. They fell to 71-82 on the year with the loss, clinching the franchise’s first losing season since 2002.

The Phillies finished 80-81 in 2002, which was followed by the best stretch of baseball in franchise history. This includes five straight NL East titles from 2007-2011, two World Series appearances, and one title. With an aging core and Charlie Manuel no longer at the helm, the Phillies find themselves in a period of transition, but interim manager Ryan Sandberg told John Finger of CSNPhilly.com that he is optimistic that the franchise will get back on the right track soon.

“It’s all part of going through this,” interim manager Ryne Sandberg said after the loss. “Sometimes it takes a losing season to build and start the process, and with that a lot of these guys have had a chance to play and gain experience and that’s where you start the rebuilding process. I think there are a lot of good things that have been going on the last few weeks.”

The Phillies are 18-15 since Sandberg replaced Manuel last month. He is expected to get the full-time job, though he may have a familiar face with him in the dugout next season.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.