Mariners official: “We’re not looking to trade” Brad Miller

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Though the Mariners had offered shortstop Brad Miller as part of a package in an effort to acquire outfielder Matt Kemp from the Dodgers recently, Mariners officials contend the club is not actively looking to move him. One official said explicitly, “We’re not looking to trade him,” reports Bob Dutton of The News Tribune.

The Kemp deal stalled, Dutton writes, when the Dodgers insisted on receiving either Taijuan Walker or James Paxton along with Miller and others. Kemp was eventually traded to the Padres.

As for Miller, there were even some rumors that the Mariners would consider him as an outfield option if they failed to make another deal. They have made a three-year offer to free agent Melky Cabrera and could still have others, such as Michael Morse, on their radar. The Mariners were also interested in trading for Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond, which would obviously displace Miller if he did not switch locations in such a trade.

For now, Miller is likely to be the Mariners’ starting shortstop on Opening Day after batting .221/.288/.365 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI in 411 plate appearances last season. Should Miller not get the nod, Chris Taylor would.

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.