Todd Frazier agrees to minor league deal with Pirates

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH — Infielder Todd Frazier agreed to a minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates that includes an invitation to big league spring training.

If Frazier is added to the 40-man roster, he would get a one-year contract paying a $1.5 million salary while in the major leagues, as part of the agreement announced Friday.

He would be able to earn $600,000 in performance bonuses for plate appearances: $100,000 each for 275, 325 and 375, and $150,000 apiece for 425 and 475.

He can ask for his release if not added to the big league roster by March 25.

Pittsburgh is in need of depth at both corner infield spots after trading first baseman Josh Bell to Washington in the offseason. Colin Moran will move from third base to first full-time, with Ke'Bryan Hayes projected to start at third.

The 35-year-old Frazier is a career .242 hitter with 218 home runs and 636 RBIs while playing for five teams, including Cincinnati, the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. Frazier split time with Texas and the Mets in 2020, hitting .236 with four home runs and 12 RBIs.

Frazier is expected to join the Pirates in time to be on the field for the first day of workouts for position players on Monday.

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

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Thomas Skrlj/Getty Images
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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.