Reds add Sean Doolittle, Dee Strange-Gordon

Sean Doolittle functioning society
Getty Images

CINCINNATI — Left-hander Sean Doolittle and the Cincinnati Reds finalized a $1.5 million, one-year contract on Monday, a deal that allowed him to earn an additional $2.1 million in performance bonuses.

Cincinnati also announced a minor league deal with infielder Dee Strange-Gordon, who will report to big league spring training.

Doolittle, 34, had been with Washington since July 2017 and helped the Nationals win their first World Series title in 2019.

He can earn $1.6 million in bonuses for games pitched: $100,000 each for 10 and every additional four through 34, $125,000 apiece for 38, 42, 46 and 50, and $200,000 each for 55 and 60.

He also can earn $500,000 for games finished: $100,000 each for 20 and every additional five through 40.

The two-time All-Star was 0-2 with a 5.87 ERA in 7 2/3 innings over 11 relief appearances during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He earned $2,407,407 in prorated pay from a $6.5 million salary last year in the second option year of a contract that originally guaranteed $10.5 million from 2014-18.

Strange-Gordon, 32, spent the past three seasons with Seattle and hit .200 with three RBIs in 75 at-bats over 33 games last year. A three-time stolen base champion, he swiped just three in five tries.

Strange-Gordon became a free agent when Seattle chose to pay a $1 million buyout rather than exercise a $14 million option for 2021.

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

toronto blue jays
Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
1 Comment

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.