Report: Reds willing to trade Jay Bruce to Mets for Zack Wheeler

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UPDATE: It appears that this scenario has some legs, as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets are trying to get Bruce. Wheeler and perhaps another player would head back to Cincinnati. The Mets are also exploring other options, so nothing is close yet.

9:08 p.m. ET: As the Mets try to pick up the pieces after their deal for Carlos Gomez fell apart, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that they have an interesting proposal to consider from the Reds:

Andy Martino and Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported over the weekend that the Mets were shopping Wheeler and the Reds were among the teams who inquired on him. The 25-year-old underwent Tommy John surgery in March and will likely be out until around midseason next year, but he has shown promise in the early part of his career and remains under team control through 2019.

Bruce, 28, is batting .257/.341/.486 with 17 home runs, 56 RBI, and six steals over 96 games this season. He’s owed $12.5 million next season and his contract includes a $13 million club option or a $1 million buyout for 2017. The Mets haven’t earned the benefit of the doubt about their ability to spend to bring in talent, so it’s unclear whether this is a realistic fit. It’s also an imperfect one, as their greatest need is in center field. If Bruce was brought in, the Mets could consider moving Curtis Granderson to center and play Bruce in right while keeping rookie Michael Conforto in left and using Juan Lagares off the bench.

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.