Orioles acquire outfielder Travis Snider from Pirates

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Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles have completed a trade for Pirates outfielder Travis Snider. Pittsburgh’s return is a player to be named later and 21-year-old pitching prospect Stephen Tarpley.

The O’s lost Nelson Cruz this offseason to the Mariners and Nick Markakis to the Braves, so they’ve been desperately looking for an outfielder, courting free agents like Colby Rasmus, Norichika Aoki, and even Ichiro Suzuki. Ultimately the addition came via trade, and it could be a good one.

Snider had a very strong second half for Pittsburgh in 2014 and carries some upside at age 26. He was expendable for the Bucs because stud prospect Gregory Polanco is due to take over the right field gig.

This is a return to the AL East for Snider, who was drafted 14th overall by the Blue Jays in 2006. He batted just .248 with a .306 on-base percentage in 242 games with Toronto between 2008-2012 but slashed .288/.356/.524 over his final 60 games with the Pirates last year.

The O’s will hope he proves to be a legitimate late-bloomer.

Braves clinch postseason spot with 10-1 win over Nationals

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The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.

Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.

They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.

The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.