The Diamondbacks are getting “lots of calls” on Brad Ziegler

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The Diamondbacks enter tonight’s action at 43-50, 9 1/2 games back in the NL West and 7 1/2 games back for a Wild Card spot. This should put them firmly in the “seller” category, so it’s no surprise that ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that Arizona is getting “lots of calls” about veteran reliever Brad Ziegler. However, they are currently telling teams that they would have to be “overwhelmed” in order to move him.

Coming off microfracture knee surgery, Ziegler has a 1.08 ERA and 24/11 K/BB ratio over 41 2/3 innings this season. The sidearmer began the year in a set-up role, but has gone 15-for-17 in save chances since taking over the closer job from Addison Reed.

It’s a little silly for an out-of-contention team to take this sort of stance with a 35-year-old reliever, but keep in mind that his contract includes a reasonable $5.5 million club option (or a $1 million buyout) for next season. The Diamondbacks apparently won’t deal him unless they get a strong return.

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.