Phillies agree to 1-year deals with Hoskins, Velasquez, Alvarado

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PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies agreed to one-year contracts with first baseman Rhys Hoskins, right-hander Vince Velasquez and left-hander Jose Alvarado on Friday to avoid salary arbitration.

Hoskins will earn $4.8 million in 2021, Velasquez gets $4 million and Alvarado makes $1 million.

Hoskins batted .245 with 10 homers and 26 RBIs last season, when he earned $224,074 prorated of a $605,000 salary. He averaged 32 homers and 90 RBIs with a .236 average over his first two full seasons.

Velasquez was 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA in seven starts and two relief appearances last season, when he made $1,333,333 prorated of a $3.6 million salary. He is 28-35 with a 4.72 ERA in 131 career appearances, including 106 starts.

Alvarado was 2-15 with a 3.46 ERA, 15 saves and 161 strikeouts in 132 2/3 innings in 149 career appearances, all with Tampa Bay. He earned $212,259 prorated of a $573,100 salary.

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.