Nationals re-sign Mike MacDougal to minors deal

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Released by the Marlins earlier this week, Mike MacDougal has re-signed with the Nationals on a minor-league deal.
MacDougal had a 3.60 ERA in 50 innings and converted 20-of-21 save chances in Washington last season, but his 31/31 K/BB ratio and incredibly inconsistent track record kept him from getting any big-league offers. Mike Capps is now the Nationals’ closer, but MacDougal could get a look in a middle-relief role.
He throws hard and can be extremely tough to hit at times, but more often than not MacDougal struggles to find the strike zone and has a 4.91 ERA with nearly as many walks (83) as strikeouts (85) in 114 total innings over the past three seasons.

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.