Report: Joe Maddon and the Cubs “have been in discussions”

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As soon as the presumed marriage between Joe Maddon and the Dodgers was shot down by Andrew Friedman–at least for this year–speculation shifted to Maddon and the Cubs.

Now, the Cubs have a manager under contract for 2015 in Rick Renteria, but sure enough Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun Times reports that Maddon and the Cubs “have been in discussions this week” and “could have an answer by Friday.”

Previous reports had Maddon seeking something in the range of a five-year, $25 million contract and he made it clear that he’d prefer to manage again immediately rather than sitting out a year, so Chicago–with its stocked farm system and analytical front office–is the most obvious landing spot.

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.