Astros agree to deal with Ronny Cedeno

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Released by the St. Louis Cardinals earlier in the week, infielder Ronny Cedeno already has a new home, reports MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart:

Cedeno, 30, will provide some middle infield depth for the Astros, who have yet to see either Tyler Greene or Marwin Gonzalez seize the starting shortstop job. Cedeno has played mostly shortstop in his career, but he can play second.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow couldn’t be reached for comment.

The deal is pending a physical.

Cedeno had his best offensive showing last year with the Mets, albeit in a meager 186 trips to the plate. Posting an OPS between .593 and .680 from 2006-11, he finished 2012 with a .741 OPS. Now 30, the Astros are hoping he can provide some stability in the infield on an otherwise young roster.

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.