Pirates bolster bullpen, pick up Joakim Soria from Tigers

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UPDATE: Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Tigers will receive prospect infielder-outfielder JaCoby Jones in return.

6:11 p.m. ET: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates and Tigers have agreed to a deal. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that medicals still need to be reviewed before the trade becomes official.

The Tigers will receive one minor leaguer in return, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi.

6:09 p.m. ET: After dealing ace David Price to the Blue Jays earlier today, the Tigers are now close to moving their closer. According to James Schmehl of MLive.com, the Pirates are nearing a deal to acquire Joakim Soria.

Soria, an impending free agent, has posted a 2.85 ERA and 36/11 K/BB ratio over 41 innings this season. The 31-year-old has been very solid since taking over the closer role in Detroit, going 23-for-26 in save chances.

The Pirates already have an All-Star closer in Mark Melancon, so Soria would presumably function in a set-up capacity. Pittsburgh’s bullpen is currently fourth in the majors with a 2.71 ERA, but they are about to get even better.

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.