The Mets are still talking to Smoltz

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A few weeks ago it was reported that the Mets were interested in John Smoltz for the rotation. The interest hasn’t flagged, apparently, as the Daily News says this morning that “the Mets have been particularly active in dialogue” with Smotlz.  That’s a fancy way of saying they’re talking.  Smoltz had previously been linked to the Phillies — who reportedly wanted him to come out of the pen — and the Nats

Not sure what’s taking so long with Smoltz. A guy who went 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts in the AL and then 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts in the NL shouldn’t exactly present a complicated negotiation. “Here’s your one-year, $3 million + incentives contract.  Take it or leave it.” If he comes back with a counter and you really like the cut of his jib, sure you settle at $4 million, which is less than Vicente Padilla will make next year. 

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.