Ryan Madson declines arbitration from the Phillies

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From MLB Network’s Jon Heyman comes word that free agent right-hander Ryan Madson has decided to decline the Phillies’ offer of arbitration.

Madson is a Type A free agent, so by rejecting the offer he will net the Phillies two compensatory draft picks when he signs with a different team.

The 31-year-old posted a dominant 2.37 ERA and 62/16 K/BB ratio in 60 2/3 innings this past year for Philadelphia, converting 32 saves in 34 opportunities. The Red Sox have expressed some interest in making him Papelbon’s replacement, but it doesn’t sound like a deal is close.

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.