Report: Matt Williams takes three-year deal to manage in KBO League

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Jon Heyman reports that Matt Williams has signed a three-year contract to manage in the KBO League in South Korea. Per Seunghoon Han, Williams will lead the Kia Tigers.

Williams, 53, managed in the majors for two years in 2014-15 with the Nationals, leading them to an aggregate 179-145 (.522) record. They made the playoffs in 2014, getting shooed out of the NLDS three games to one by the Giants.

Williams also coached the Diamondbacks from 2010-13 and in ’16, and was with the Athletics as a third base coach for the last two seasons.

The A’s could lose two other coaches along with Williams. Bench coach Ryan Christenson will reportedly interview for the Pirates’ vacant managerial position while quality control coach Mark Kotsay will do the same with the Giants.

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.