Phillies “know how much” Cole Hamels is going to cost

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There may be a positive development in the ongoing long-term contract negotiations between the Phillies and left-hander Cole Hamels. Or maybe not.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the Phillies “know how much” Hamels will cost annually “and are set to pay it.” But the Philadelphia front office would rather do a four-year deal and the 28-year-old southpaw of course wants more.

Hamels registered a stellar 2.79 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 32 outings last year for the National League East champions, fanning 194 batters and issuing only 44 walks across 216 innings of work. With another ace-like season, the native of Southern California could demand well over $100 million on the open market. And it’s probably a safe assumption that the Dodgers’ new ownership group is going to have interest.

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.