Former top prospect Jeremy Hermida may be headed to Japan

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UPDATE: Not so fast, apparently. Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that the Yomiuri Giants have been in contact with Hermida, but no contract has actually be signed.

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Jeremy Hermida was once a top prospect for the Marlins, ranking fourth on Baseball America‘s list of the best prospects in the game back in 2006, but he never developed beyond a decent role player and now he’s headed to Japan at age 27.

Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker passes along a Japanese report that Hermida has signed with the Yomiuri Giants, who this year had former major leaguers Brian Bannister, Seth Greisinger, Jonathan Albaladejo, Michael Nakamura, Alex Ramirez, Rusty Ryal, and Josh Fields on their roster.

Hermida spent most of this season at Triple-A in the Reds’ system, hitting .319 with17 homers and a .924 OPS in 105 games, and also played 30 games in the majors with Cincinnati and San Diego. He’s a career .257 hitter with a .749 OPS, so there certainly could be a place for him as a part-time player on a lot of teams, but Hermida can make more money in Japan and has a chance to become a star there while he’s still relatively young.

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.