Scott Olsen chooses free agency

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Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Scott Olsen opted for free agency after he was outrighted to Triple-A Syracuse. The southpaw was arbitration-eligible this winter, so this is essentially an early non-tender.

Olsen has completely fizzled out since compiling a 4.04 ERA and striking out 166 batters over 180 2/3 innings in his rookie season with the Marlins in 2006. He underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum last August and returned to post a 5.56 ERA and 53/27 K/BB over 17 games (15 starts) this past season.

Olsen spent over two months on the disabled list this season because of soreness and inflammation in his surgically-repaired shoulder and was finally shut down in September. With the health of his shoulder in question, he’ll probably have to settle for a minor league deal this winter.

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.