Indians finalize Billy Hamilton’s minor league contract

Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

CLEVELAND — Billy Hamilton has joined the Indians’ cluttered outfield competition.

The free agent finalized his contract with Cleveland, which will give Hamilton a chance to win a roster spot during training camp in Arizona. Hamilton agreed to terms on a minor league deal last week with an invitation to big league spring training, and the contract was completed after he completed medical tests.

Hamilton, who spent last season with the Cubs and Mets, gives the Indians another option as they try to fix an outfield that hasn’t produced much in recent seasons. The 30-year-old Hamilton has 305 career steals over eight seasons with Cincinnati, Kansas City, Atlanta, Chicago and New York.

Hamilton had his best years with the Reds from 2013-18. He stole at least 56 bases over a four-year span.

The Indians this month signed free agent Eddie Rosario to an $8 million, one-year deal, and he projects to get one of their three starting outfield jobs. The other two seem up for grabs along with a backup spot.

Hamilton is a career .241 hitter with 101 doubles, 36 triples, 22 home runs and 178 RBIs.

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.