Report: David Phelps agrees to $1.75M deal with Blue Jays

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TORONTO — Right-hander David Phelps and the Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

Phelps, 34, went 2-4 with a 6.53 ERA in 22 relief appearances with Milwaukee and Philadelphia last season. He earned $462,963 in prorated base pay from a $1.25 million salary and $434,546 in earned bonuses for $897,509 in income.

Phelps spent the first half with Toronto in 2019 and had a 3.63 ERA in 17 appearances with the Blue Jays.

He is 34-38 with a 3.,95 ERA in eight major league seasons that also included stints with the New York Yankees (2012-14), Miami (2015-17), Seattle (2017-19) and the Chicago Cubs (2019).

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Derek Fisher was designated for assignment.

Toronto has been among the more active teams on the free-agent market, agreeing to a $150 million, six-year contract with outfielder George Springer, an $18 million, one-year contract with shortstop Marcus Semien, a $5.5 million, one-year deal with right-hander Kirby Yates and a $3 million, one-year contract with right-hander Tyler Chatwood.

The Blue Jays also re-signed left-hander Robbie Ray to an $8 million, one-year contract.

Toronto also claimed right-hander Joel Payamps off waivers from Boston and designated right-hander Shun Yamaguchi for assignment. The 26-year-old Payamps spent most of last year Arizona’s alternate training site, but had a 3.00 ERA in three innings over two major league appearances.

Payamps was claimed by Boston off waivers in November and designated for assignment last week. He made four big league appearances for the Diamondbacks during the last two seasons.

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.