Orioles “closing in on” trade for Pirates’ Travis Snider

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The Orioles have failed in their pursuit of several free agent outfielders this offseason, so they might now be turning to the trade market to fill their need.

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that the O’s “appear to be closing in on a deal” that would send one or two minor leaguers to the Pirates in exchange for 26-year-old outfielder Travis Snider. The two sides also had discussions about Snider in December and lefty Brian Matusz was floated as a possible return, but that scenario eventually died out. Matusz is not involved in this round of negotiations.

Snider batted .288/.356/.524 for the Bucs in the second half of the 2014 season, but they’re ready to hand the right field job over to super prospect Gregory Polanco.

Snider’s left-handed power would play well at Baltimore’s Camden Yards.

He’s due $2.1 million in 2015 and will be arbitration-eligible for the final time in 2016.

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.