There is “momentum building” for Cole Hamels trade

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Cole Hamels put to rest any talk about fatigue or falling trade stock Saturday when he threw the first no-hitter of his career against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. You wouldn’t think one start could change the perception of a guy who’s been dominant now for over 1,900 major league innings, but this has always been a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately type of business. Just like any professional sport.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal is hearing from sources that there is “momentum building” toward a Hamels trade following Saturday’s historical performance on the north side of Chicago. Rosenthal says teams are no longer asking the Phillies to eat as much money and they’re putting forth better return packages.

Hamels, who’s under contract through 2018 at $23.5 million per season, heads into the week of the July 31 trade deadline with a cool 3.64 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and 137/39 K/BB ratio in 128 2/3 innings.

The five organizations expressing the most interest in the 31-year-old, per Rosenthal, are the Dodgers, Rangers, Yankees, Giants, and the Cubs team Hamels just no-hit on Saturday.

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.