Don’t expect a decision from Cliff Lee any time soon

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Not surprisingly, Cliff Lee’s agent said yesterday that the free agent left-hander will likely take his sweet time fielding offers before deciding on a long-term home.

Here’s what Darek Braunecker told Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News:

Historically, these deals take some time. We don’t handicap the timing of this stuff, but we don’t anticipate this happening too quickly. There aren’t a whole lot of market factors that are necessarily going to influence Cliff’s negotiations. There’s not anybody else out there that’s going to have any bearing on what we do with Cliff, at least from our perspective.

Our conversations have been what we anticipated to this point; it’s early-stage dialogue with a number of interested parties.  We’re truly at the beginning stages here. When this deal gets done is anybody’s guess.

Feinsand speculates that Lee is unlikely to sign before the winter meetings, which begin December 6.

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.