Braves interested in ex-White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers

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Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that the Braves are “continuing to pursue” catcher Tyler Flowers, who was non-tendered by the White Sox last week.

Flowers is a right-handed hitter, which means Atlanta would be looking to pair him with left-handed hitter A.J. Pierzynski in a traditional platoon. And it would also mean the Braves aren’t leaving any room for former top prospect turned 24-year-old question mark Christian Bethancourt.

Pierzynski overtook Bethancourt on the depth chart after signing with the Braves last offseason and then re-signed on a one-year, $3 million deal to serve as the primary starter in 2016. Flowers has been the White Sox’s primary starter since 2013, but struggled offensively aside from a decent number of homers.

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.