Royals claim Chris Volstad off waivers from Cubs

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Chris Volstad was a flop in Chicago after the Cubs acquired him from the Marlins in the Carlos Zambrano salary dump, going 3-12 with a 6.21 ERA in 21 starts.

Today the Royals claimed Volstad off waivers, which is an odd move considering he made $2.66 million this season and would be in line for a similar salary for 2013 via arbitration.

Under the rules of arbitration the Royals could only cut Volstad’s salary by 20 percent, but they could non-tender him and then attempt to re-sign him for less. Of course, they could also have just waited for the Cubs to non-tender him and do the same thing.

Volstad is a 6-foot-8 former first-round pick and showed some promise early in his career, but now he’s 26 years old with a 5.14 ERA in 611 innings since 2009.

Red Sox beat Yankees 11-6 to clinch AL East for third consecutive season

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The Red Sox have clinched the AL East for a third consecutive season, beating the Yankees 11-6 in the Bronx on Thursday night. It’s the third consecutive season in which the Red Sox have won the division, the first time that’s ever been done in club history. In fact, the only other times the Red Sox won the division in back-to-back years were 1903-04 and 1915-16.

AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts went 4-for-5 with a two-run single in the second inning off of Masahiro Tanaka and a three-run homer in the eighth against Aroldis Chapman to put the game out of reach. Jackie Bradley and Brock Holt also hit homers. Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez was on the hook for five runs in 3 2/3 innings, but three of them scored when Heath Hembree inherited a bases-loaded situation, then served up a grand slam to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth. The rest of the bullpen combined to fire five scoreless innings. Steven Wright had three of them followed by zeroes from Ryan Brasier and Craig Kimbrel.

With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Athletics for the first Wild Card slot shrinks to 1.5 games. Meanwhile, the Red Sox will try to clinch home field advantage throughout the playoffs. With a 104-49 record, their closest competitor is the 95-57 Astros. With nine games remaining in the regular season for the Red Sox, they would have to lose every game remaining in the regular season and the Astros would have to win their 10 remaining games in order to fail to claim home field advantage.