Marlins reach deals with Anderson, Alfaro and 3 relievers

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
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MIAMI — The Miami Marlins agreed to contract terms with all of their arbitration-eligible players, including third baseman Brian Anderson.

Miami also announced deals with catcher Jorge Alfaro and three relievers – Yimi Garcia, Richard Bleier and Adam Cimber.

In addition, Miami signed 11 players from four countries, including 18-year-old Cuban infielder Yiddi Cappe, during Major League Baseball’s international signing period. Cappe is widely regarded as one of baseball’s top 10 international prospects.

Anderson led the Marlins last year with 11 homers and 38 RBIs and is considered part of their long-terms plan. He has been remarkably consistent, with an average of .255 to .273 in each of his four major league seasons.

Alfaro batted .226 with three home runs last year and lost his starting job in the postseason to Chad Wallach, who is better defensively.

Garcia allowed only one run in 15 innings with 19 strikeouts last year, and he’s considered a potential closer in 2021. Bleier had a 2.16 ERA in 21 games last year for the Marlins and Orioles. Cimber had a 3.97 ERA in 14 games for the Indians, and Miami acquired him in a trade in November for $100,000.

Cappe is a 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds and has played shortstop in national competition in Cuba since he was 16. The Marlins also signed players from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Mexico.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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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.