Angels acquire Aaron Slegers from Rays

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — The Los Angeles Angels have acquired right-hander Aaron Slegers from Tampa Bay for cash or a player to be named.

The clubs announced the deal Monday night.

The 6-foot-10 Slegers mostly pitched in long relief for the AL champion Rays last season, going at least two innings in nine of his 11 appearances while compiling a 3.46 ERA. He allowed just five earned runs over 24 innings in his final 10 appearances, and kept up the strong work with a 1.80 ERA in three playoff outings covering five innings.

Slegers, born in Long Beach, has a solid chance to earn an important job in the Angels’ bullpen, which is undergoing a major overhaul by new general manager Perry Minasian. Los Angeles had the fifth-worst ERA in the majors last season and missed the playoffs for the sixth straight year.

Mike Mayers, Ty Buttrey and Felix Pena were the Angels’ three most-used relievers last season, and they’re all still with the club. The next eight busiest relievers from the 2020 roster are gone, and Minasian has traded for closer Raisel Iglesias and signed left-hander Alex Claudio.

Slegers was waived or designated for assignment by Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay in 2019, but he re-signed with the Rays and pitched his way back into the majors last August.

The Angels designated left-hander Dillon Peters for assignment to make room for Slegers.

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.