MANNY MACHADO SIGNS 300 MILLION DOLLAR DEAL, BRYCE HARPER IS NEXT

Bryce-Harper-012919-Getty-Images-FTR

Photo: Sporting News

That’s according to former MLB general manager Jim Bowden, who joined CBS Sports HQ on Tuesday to report on the fallout of Machado’s reported $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres. Following up on previous indications that Bryce Harper, the former Washington Nationals star, might be nearing his own contract with the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies, Bowden said that Machado’s move to San Diego was all but precipitated by the Phils’ interest in Harper. Continue Reading By 

Hello, Bryce Harper. The stage is now yours, completely. We are all focused on you. It was enlightening, watching the thought process of most baseball writers and fans play out live on Twitter from the moment ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke the news of Manny Machado’s deal with the Padres and MLB’s Mark Feinsand quickly followed up with the money numbers. Continue Reading By Ryan Fagan

If Bryce Harper hasn’t signed by the time you sit down for dinner tonight, in the words of Ace Ventura:

Just wait longer.

The first major free agency domino fell Tuesday morning with the San Diego Padres reportedly giving Manny Machado a 10-year, $300 million contract, setting the table for Harper to sign shortly thereafter.

Or so we thought.

Harper eventually will sign somewhere, but it won’t be with Machado in San Diego, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. Continue Reading By Brian Witt

Photo: ESPN

It took 113 days of free agency to play out, but Manny Machado is headed to San Diego on the largest deal ever handed out to a free agent. What does the deal mean for baseball’s new $300 million man, the team that signed him and other interested parties (read: Harper, Bryce)? We asked ESPN baseball writers Eddie Matz, David Schoenfield, Bradford Doolittle and Sam Miller to break it down. Continue Reading By ESPN

Manny Machado has agreed to the biggest free-agent contract in American sports history — a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Tuesday.

Machado, a four-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove Award winner at third base, made $16 million between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles last season. Continue Reading By ESPN News Services

Manny Machado just hit the free agent lottery.

The All-Star infielder landed the biggest free-agent contract in the history of Major League Baseball after he agreed to a 10-year, $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Giancarlo Stanton still holds the record for largest contract when he signed a $325 million extension in 2014 with the Miami Marlins.

With Bryce Harper still looming as a free agent, both marks could fall when he makes a decision on what team to sign with.

Machado’s deal also obliterated the franchise record once held by Eric Hosmer, who signed an eight-year, $144 million contract last offseason.

So, how does Machado’s record deal stack up with the rest of baseball highest-paid players? Here are the top contracts by total value and average annual value, per USA TODAY salary database and Cot’s Baseball Contracts. Continue Reading By 

Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, speaks during a news conference at owners meetings.

Photo: Associated Press

Major League Baseball will continue its bid to crack down on high-tech sign stealing.

A new set of rules will ban nonbroadcast outfield cameras between the foul poles, Sports Illustrated reported and The Post’s Ken Davidoff confirmed.

They also will restrict the ability of teams to monitor a broadcast, allowing only replay officials to watch in real time. The game will be played on an eight-second delay on clubhouse and bullpen monitors.

Teams in violation could lose draft picks and international spending money, the report said. Continue Reading By Noah Bressner

Photo: Getty Image

Trevor Bauer might be the MLB’s best pitcher … but he’s the WORST first date ever — ’cause he’s got a set of rules for potential romantic partners, including, “No feelings” allowed!

The Cleveland Indians superstar just revealed when he goes on dates with girls … he’s blunt and to the point — telling them straight-up he’ll NEVER be their boyfriend.

“I have three rules,” Bauer tells Sports Illustrated.

No. 1? “No feelings.”

No. 2? “No social media posts about me while we’re together.”

No. 3? “I sleep with other people. I’m going to continue to sleep with other people. If you’re not O.K. with that, we won’t sleep together, and that’s perfectly fine.”

Think Bauer — who’s known as baseball’s mad scientist for the painstaking way he approaches pitching — is being selfish???

Think again … the ace actually says he’s HELPING his romantic partners — ’cause, “I imagine if I was married at this point, I would be a very bad husband.”

Bauer says he’s too devoted to pitching to deal with a girlfriend right now.

Bottom line … if TB pops up on your Bumble this week — SWIPE LEFT!!!!!!!!! From TMZ Sports

The game is changing, perhaps more quickly than ever. Forget comparing the sport to what it looked like in the 1960s or the ’80s; the game has changed massively in just the last half-decade. Remember, just five years ago, we were all talking about the lack of power ,and no one was talking about launch angle or spin rate. Things are slightly different now.

That being the case, it’s useful to look ahead and project the trends you’ll see taking place on the field in 2019, so that you, the knowledable fan, will be one step ahead of the game.

One trend we won’t be calling out: strikeouts. The number of whiffs have increased every year since 2008, and they’ll probably go up again in ’19. Pitchers are just entirely too good.

That aside, here are seven trends to keep an eye out for in the coming season:

You’ll see more “openers”
On May 19, the Rays introduced “the opener” to modern baseball, and it proved to be a successful enough experiment for them — though certainly having American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell around was a big part of their success as well. This is how Ryne Stanek made 29 “starts” while throwing only 66 1/3 innings, and how Ryan Yarbrough made only six starts, yet piled up 147 1/3 innings.

It’s a little difficult to know how exactly many times the opener was used, because there are small-but-important differences between “the opener,” “a bullpen game,” and “a starter who gets knocked out early.” But it’s clear the idea spread fast, as the AthleticsDodgersTwinsBrewers and Rangers (at least) tried the idea out. Our best estimate is that it was truly used approximately 60 times, overwhelmingly from the Rays, along with eight September Liam Hendriks “starts” for Oakland. From Mike Petriello

Apr 26, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Kansas City Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas (8) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning during a MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Brewers and free-agent third baseman Mike Moustakas have officially agreed to a one-year agreement. The Boras Corporation client will reportedly earn $10MM on the deal, which includes a $7MM salary in 2019 and $3MM buyout on a $11MM mutual option for 2020. Continue Reading By 

Photo: Rob Tringali / MLB Photos via Getty Images

Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced today that he will retire at the end of the 2019 season (Twitter link). Baseball’s longest-tenured skipper, Bochy is entering his 13th season as the Giants’ manager. In that time, he’s overseen three World Series championships (2010, 2012 and 2014) and helped guide the Giants to a 979-965 record. Continue Reading By 

The job seekers are paying their respects to Bruce Bochy. Sixteen hours after Bochy’s retirement announcement, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi had not received a single text or call from someone seeking the job next year.

In this game, that’s an upset.

“It will not surprise me when those start coming in,” Zaidi said Tuesday. “I do think there’s going to be a good amount of outreach. At the right time, we’ll start thinking about that more actively and then put together a list.” From Henry Schulman 

 

NBA WEEKEND DOESN’T DISAPPOINT, SPRING TRAINING, NHL NEWS

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Photo: Getty Image

As usual, the NBA trade deadline provided all kinds of entertainment for both casual and die-hard fans of the league. There was plenty of actual player movement in addition to the (still ongoing) Anthony Davis saga and teams like the Philadelphia 76ers, Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks strengthened their rosters with an eye toward legitimate title contention. In fact, much has been made of the wildly intriguing race for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, with four teams jockeying for position and the prospect of an all-out brawl for a Finals spot in May. Continue Reading By 

In Stephen Curry‘s homecoming, Kevin Durant stole the show. Durant scored a team-high 31 points for Team LeBron, helping to lead his team of All-Stars back from a 20-point deficit in a 178-164 win over Team Giannis and winning All-Star MVP for the second time in his career. Continue Reading By Dave McMenamin

Trae Young, Hawks

NBA TV held a discussion with some of the top rookies of this season, but Atlanta Hawks rookie point guard Trae Young wasn’t invited. Continue Reading By  

Jalen Rose, LeBron James, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers may or may not reach the postseason this 2018-19 season. Despite signing superstar forward LeBron James over the summer, the slumping Western Conference franchise has been forced to play most of this season without “King James” due to a groin injury. Continue Reading By 

60 Pairs Of Sneakers Players Wore During NBA All-Star Weekend Events

Photo: Getty Image

NBA All-Star Weekend is pretty much the mecca for sneakerheads as so many of the league’s superstars break out extra special kicks, many that we’ve never seen before, and in several cases will never see again. Continue Reading By 

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The hot stove is heating up with rumors of teams making offers to the biggest free agents on the market.

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still unsigned, and with spring training underway and the regular season beginning in about four weeks, teams are still struggling to set their rosters as there are still quality free agents still waiting to ink deals.

Here are all the latest rumors and news around baseball: Continue Reading By SCOOBY AXSON

Craig Kimbrel

Photo: sporting news

For Red Sox fans hoping the team will have a change of heart and bring back ace closer Craig Kimbrel, team chairman Tom Werner put some long odds on that Monday.

“I think it’s extremely unlikely,” Werner said (via MLB.com). Continue Reading By Arthur Weinstein

Stars might put fans in the seats, but baseball is a sport that rewards the most complete clubs. That’s what makes Spring Training more than a series of exhibitions; big league jobs are on the line, and they could end up having a major impact on the season-end standings.

The next five weeks will see lots of shuffling on Major League rosters. Here are the most intriguing positional battles on each of the 30 MLB clubs. Continue Reading By MLB.com

Photo: (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

 Even on a day when Commissioner Rob Manfred broke a bit of news — spring training games will soon begin in Florida and Arizona with a 20-second pitch clock, as a possible precursor to implementing the pace-saving devices in the regular season — he could not escape the predominant story line of Major League Baseball’s offseason: the continued unemployment of some of the sport’s highest-profile free agents with the first exhibition games just days away. Continue Reading By Dave Sheinin

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Photo: (David Zalubowski/AP)

There was only one thing Jake Gardiner wanted to do with the only night his Toronto Maple Leafs would spend in this city all season long. Drop in on old friend Tyler Bozak.

“Check out his house and say hi to his kids,” said Gardiner, of how he intended to cap a busy Monday that included practice in Glendale, Ariz., and a two-plus-hour team flight to St. Louis. Continue Reading By 

Photo: EA Sports

After a 44-year wait for their first Stanley Cup, the Washington Capitals finally hoisted the coveted trophy and celebrated throughout the summer with parties and keg-stands. This season, the Caps have returned with very much the same team, managing to re-sign pivotal defenseman John Carlsson and ready to embark on the franchise’s first ever defense of the Cup. The team is strong in all areas, boasting many of the best players in the game. Continue Reading By Ben Chopping

Photo: Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Ryan Miller is one of the best goaltenders in Buffalo Sabres history; there’s no doubt about that. But on Sunday, Miller also solidified his place in NHL history, become the winningest US-born goaltender in the league’s history as the Anaheim Ducks powered to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals. Continue Reading By 

Every week, we’ll mine the waiver wire for lesser-owned assets to help your fantasy hockey squad, whether you favor dynasty or the redraft format, and we’ll also toss in some tips for daily fantasy sports players out there. Finally, we will look at some former go-to fantasy assets who might be overvalued — either in the short or long term — for one reason or another. Continue Reading By Victoria Matiash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PICKING EACH MLB TEAM’S MOUNT RUSHMORE, NBA, NHL, NFL NEWS

Photo: GETTY IMAGE

NATIONAL BASKETBALL LEAGUE

Zion Williamson is the biggest name in college basketball and LeBron James is the biggest name in the NBA. When the two stars are associated in any way, news is sure to follow and that is what transpired on Saturday when James made a quick trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to see Williamson and his Duke teammates face off against the Virginia Cavaliers in an intriguing battle of a top-five teams. Continue Reading By 

The New Orleans Pelicans parted ways with general manager Dell Demps on Friday morning (Feb. 15), according to an ESPN report. ESPN said the Pelicans are considering director of player personnel David Booth and special advisor Danny Ferry for the interim role.

Demps had been the general manager of the team since July 2010 when the team was still the New Orleans Hornets. In Demps’ first eight seasons, the Pelicans went to the playoffs just three times – 2011, 2015 and 2018. New Orleans was bounced in the first round the first two times and made it to the Western Conference semifinals last season. New Orleans Times-Picayune

Anthony Davis was spotted leaving the Smoothie King Arena on Thursday night after he suffered a shoulder injury in the team’s win over the Oklahoma City Thunder, and that may have indirectly contributed to general manager Dell Demps losing his job. Continue Reading By  Steve DelVecchio

Photo: New Balance

Kawhi Leonard is embracing his time in Toronto, but the NBA All-Star will show off his latest signature shoe in Charlotte this weekend. Leonard has hooked up with New Balance to create a brand new basketball shoe, the OMN1S.

New Balance showed off a sneak preview of the show and a whopping six colorways, though they say it’s up to Kawhi to decide which version of the OMN1S we see on the floor first. Continue Reading By 

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lakers, NBA

Photo From Clutch Points

If NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were the commissioner of the league, the landscape would be very different.

Abdul-Jabbar told Sean Deveney of The Sporting News that he does not think any player under 21 should be allowed to play in the NBA and that they should first have to go through the G-League: Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

Colin Kaepernick

Photo: Getty Images

The collusion grievances filed by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid against the NFL have been resolved.

Attorney Mark Geragos and the NFL released a joint statement announcing the development on Friday afternoon. Due to a confidentiality agreement, there’s no word on the terms of a settlement that comes after several months of discussions between the league and counsel for the two players.

“For the past several months, counsel for Mr. Kaepernick and Mr. Reid have engaged in an ongoing dialogue with representatives of the NFL. As a result of those discussions, the parties have decided to resolve the pending grievances. The resolution of this matter is subject to a confidentiality agreement so there will be no further comment by any party.”

The case was moving toward final appearances in front of an arbitrator in the near future. One would imagine that there was a financial piece to the settlement to keep that from happening, but the confidentiality agreement means neither side will be revealing what it took to bring the case to an end. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

The NFL has two years remaining before the current collective bargaining agreement is up, and it appears the league could be headed for a sticking point.

Players have had rumblings of the idea this season, particularly with how markets have expanded in other sports. And now, the NFL Players Association president is preparing those players for a potential lockout for the 2021 season. Continue Reading By Nate Atkins 

Le'Veon Bell

Photo: Getty Images

The Steelers don’t have to let Le’Veon Bell walk without getting anything for him.

There is a complicated avenue they can take with the disgruntled running back that will add yet another chapter to this saga. Continue Reading By Zach Braziller

Antonio Brown may have given a sign on Friday that he is open to smoothing things over with the Pittsburgh Steelers, but his social media activity still says otherwise.

When Brown essentially abandoned the Steelers during the final week of the regular season, a report claimed he had an ugly altercation with Ben Roethlisberger before he left the team. If that wasn’t evidence enough that the relationship between Brown and Roethlisberger is strained, perhaps Brown “liking” two tweets about the sexual assault allegations against Big Ben will be. Continue Reading By Steve DelVecchio

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Photo: ABE FOX/Associated Press

There can only be four.

Them’s the rules when it comes to faces of United States presidents carved into Mount Rushmore. Likewise, it was our rule for choosing the four faces that would best represent each of Major League Baseball’s 30 franchises.

An undertaking as large as this required some ground rules:

      • Players Only: With respect to the dozens upon dozens of influential owners, executives, scouts and broadcasters who have left their mark, there are no baseball legends quite like baseball players.
      • Franchise, Not City: A player need not have played in an organization’s current home in order to be counted among said organization’s all-time greats.
      • Statistics Matter: This should probably go without saying, but the more a player produced for a given team, the better.
      • So Does Legacy: We also considered players’ championships, accolades and other achievements. Good guys were also welcome, though not at the expense of important historical significance.
      • And Era: Special commendations for post-integration (1947) for post-expansion (starting in 1961) players, and virtually no commendations to the stars of the 1800s.
      • One Player, One Team: A single player can’t be on more than one team’s Mount Rushmore.

That about does it, so let’s get to work carving 120 different faces into 30 different mountains. Continue Reading By ZACHARY D. RYMER

The Red Sox are all Xander Bogaerts knows. And it’s not just his near six years of Major League service time.

Bogaerts has been under the employ of the franchise since Aug. 23, 2009, when he signed as an international free agent out of Aruba at the age of 16. He went from a boy to a man with the Red Sox, and from a prospect to a star who will soon collect his second World Series ring. It’s hard for him to picture putting on another uniform. Continue Reading By Ian Browne

It is Feb. 15, which means we’re 105 days into the baseball free agency period. Superstar sluggers Bryce Harper and Manny Machado remain free agents.

As teams report for spring training, the hot stove remains relatively cold but in the meantime, we’ll be here to round up all the notable rumors and news around baseball. As always, our free-agent tracker is a great way to catch up on what’s already happened on that front.

Let’s round up the activity for Friday here. Continue Reading By 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Jack Hughes.

Photo: Detroit Free Press

With the Detroit Red Wings on the verge of missing the postseason for the third straight season, it’s time to devote our attention to June’s 2019 NHL draft, and more specifically the draft lottery.

Center Jack Hughes, the younger brother of Michigan’s Quinn Hughes, is widely projected to be the No. 1 pick. He plays for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program. Finland forward Kaapo Kakko is the No. 2 prospect. Continue Reading By 

Welcome to the NHL Trade Buzz. There are 10 days remaining until the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. ET, and the buzz is picking up. Will Micheal Ferland be moved as a potential rental or will Carolina Hurricanes keep the forward to help their push to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs? With defenseman Andrej Sekera close to returning from a conditioning assignment, what will the Edmonton Oilers do to make room for him?

Here’s a look around the League at the latest deadline doings: Continue Reading By Tom Gulitti

The Anaheim Ducks may want four-years on Jakob Silfverberg, he wants at least five.

Photo: NHL Rumors

Scouting the Anaheim Ducks and Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday

John Hoven: Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas was at the Ducks-Canucks game on Wednesday.

Michael Augello: Elliotte Friedman said on Sportsnet that Dubas could have been looking at Ducks defenseman Brandon Montour who has another year left on his deal at $3.38 million. He’ll be an RFA who has arbitration rights.

Silfverberg could be looking around five years and $6 million per
Jonathan Davis: Sense from talking to sources at the Ducks-Canucks game, the Ducks may not want to go more than four years for on a Jakob Silfverberg extension. Silfverberg is looking for at least a five-year deal.

Jonathan Davis: A five-year deal would take Silfverberg till he’s 34-years old. It would also be in the $6 million per year range. Wouldn’t be a surprise if Ducks traded him at the deadline, but that could change if they are able to move out some extra salary cap space.

A High asking price for Puljujarvi

Chris Nichols of Nichols on Hockey: Darren Dreger was on TSN 1260 talking about Edmonton Oilers Jesse Puljujarvi playing a limited role in the NHL while the Oilers farm team is on a roll.

Management needs to trust their coaching staff to find out what they have long-term with Puljujarvi. They still don’t know what they have him. If the coaching staff comes back and says he may not be more than a third liner, then it may be time to move him.

“There is a trade market for Jesse Puljujarvi, but my understanding is that the Oilers just want too much – the ask on him is way too high. I don’t even know what that is. I can take a guess at it when you start talking about either a top prospect or a first-round pick obviously plus something given where he was drafted.

“But I don’t get the sense that Puljujarvi has much, if any, interest in going to Bakersfield and playing in the American Hockey League. Doesn’t have a choice organizationally, so if the Oilers want to take a tough stand on him then so be it.

“But I think it’s time that they actually seriously consider their trade options.” By Mark Easson

Auston Matthews knows about contract hell, and his negotiation with the Toronto Maple Leafs wasn’t it.

“I went through a contract thing when I was going to Switzerland that was a debacle. Much more stressful than this,” he said.

Matthews and his family made the decision to have him bring his talents to the Zurich Lions in 2015. It would be a year of professional seasoning for the consensus choice for first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. But the hoops he had to jump through to play there would have intimidated a Westminster show dog: earning “specialist status” to enter and work in the country, and then needing to take his GED exam to have graduated high school and be eligible for the season. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

The Bruins are perpetually seeking solutions for their secondary scoring issues behind the Patrice Bergeron line. Last season they took a swing with a pending unrestricted free agent in Rick Nash … and whiffed, as Nash had 3 goals and 2 assists in 12 playoff games with a minus-7 in what would be his last NHL season due to concussion complications. Continue Reading By Greg Wyshynski

SPORTS NEWS ROUND-UP

Minnesota Timberwolves v New Orleans Pelicans

Photo: ESPN.com

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Oklahoma City Thunder overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets 117-112.

James Harden extended his own historic run, dropping 42 points against the Thunder, eclipsing 30 points for the 29th straight game — two shy of Chamberlain for the second-longest streak in NBA history, but far behind Chamberlain’s record run of 65 games.

Kyrie Irving underwent an MRI this morning at New England Baptist Hospital and has been diagnosed with a strained right knee. His status is day-to-day.

The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have signed free agent guard Wesley Matthews to a contract. Matthews appeared in 45 games and made 44 starts for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks this season while averaging 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Salah Mejri has re-signed with the Mavericks, tweets Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Mejri was waived Thursday to open a roster spot so the team could complete a deal that sent Harrison Barnes to the Kings.

Los Angeles Lakers president Magic Johnson said the New Orleans Pelicans operated in bad faith during negotiations with his team over a deal for superstar Anthony Davis. However, he said he isn’t dwelling on the trade deadline failure and wants his players to shift their focus forward as well.

Magic Johnson plans to hug it out with the Los Angeles Lakers to help them cope with the fallout from the NBA trade deadline. “It’s a part of business, it’s a part of being a professional athlete,” he said Saturday. “I’m going to hug ’em and tell them that we got to come together and our goal is still in reach, which is to make the playoffs.”

After 10 days of team-wide uncertainty during their widely reported pursuit of disgruntled New Orleans superstar Anthony Davis, Rob Pelinka said he believes the Lakers will bounce back strongly. Pelinka already saw signs of it Thursday night, when Los Angeles beat Boston on Rajon Rondo’s dramatic winning basket just a few hours after the deadline passed and Davis remained with the Pelicans.

Kyle Kuzma dropped an impressive 23 points in the first quarter on Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia. The performance was most points scored in a single quarter by any Lakers player since Kobe Bryant dropped 23 in the fourth quarter against the Jazz back in 2016 — which was also Bryant’s final NBA game.

Anthony Davis is showing he can still produce great numbers. He only needed 25 minutes to score 32 points in his first game for New Orleans since requesting a trade nearly two weeks ago. Davis also had nine rebounds and three blocks in a 122-117 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night.

The Philadelphia 76ers made several moves prior to Thursday’s trade deadline. In the biggest deal, they sent Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala and four draft picks to the Los Angeles Clippers for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.

Sunday afternoon report from Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Hornets have claimed veteran point guard Shelvin Mack off waivers from the Atlanta Hawks.

The Knicks interest in Kevin Durant is obvious. Their intent to go after him this offseason was solidified when they rid themselves of Kristaps Porzingis’ contract at the trade deadline. The rumors are certainly alive and well. Per Brad Rowland of Uproxx, the team ‘coincidentally’ used a picture where he is defending Mitchell Robinson in a season-ticket renewal promotion.

Otto Porter said Wizards management held a private meeting with him before the trade deadline and assured him that he would remain with the team, tweets Fred Katz of The Athletic.

The Raptors have agreed to a new multi-year contract with Chris Boucher, promoting him from his current two-way deal with the team, Shams Charania of The Athletic tweets. 

 

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE

During an appearance on Good Morning America, host and one-time Brady Super Bowl antagonist Michael Strahan said that he is in the camp that sees Brady as the “G.O.A.T.,” but Brady said it’s not a moniker he’ll be embracing anytime soon.

Brian Flores officially hired 16 assistant coaches to join him in his mission to turn around the Miami Dolphins, including Jim Caldwell as his assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach.

The NFL combine ahead of the 2019 draft is only three weeks away. In the meantime here is Mel Kiper Jr. first mock draft, which came out on Jan. 17.

Adam Gase’s new coaching staff with the New York Jets contains enough potential family drama. he full staff, announced Friday by the Jets, includes longtime NFL assistant Joe Vitt, Gase’s father-in-law, and Blake Williams, the son of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

NBC Sports veteran Bob Costas revealed he was removed from the network’s coverage due to comments he made about the NFL’s concussion problems.

The Raiders are negotiating with Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum officials to allow the NFL franchise to play its home games at the venue during the 2019 season.

The MMQB’s Albert Breer broke down the key dates on Murray’s calendar in Thursday’s Game Plan, with key benchmarks arriving soon in both his budding MLB and NFL careers. So what does Murray’s near future hold? Check out his schedule via Breer below.

February 15: A’s position players are due to report for spring training in Mesa, Ariz. Oakland gave Murray a $4.66 million signing bonus under an agreement that would allow him to play one last season of college football, then report to spring training for 2019. So if he doesn’t report next week, that’s a pretty big deal.

February 27-March 2: Quarterbacks go through their four days at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Murray has been invited. Will he be there?

March 13: Oklahoma pro day. Like the combine and everything else, this one is in direct conflict with spring training.

March 14-April 19: In-house visits with teams, and private workouts. The workouts can actually spill into draft week, while the deadline for NFL teams to fly prospects into their facilities is a week before the draft.

March 20: A’s open their season in Tokyo against Seattle. As for their affiliates, the Triple-A Las Vegas Aviators, Double-A Midland RockHounds and Single-A Stockton Ports and Beloit Snappers all open up on April 4.

April 26-28: The NFL draft takes place Nashville.

Murray declared for the NFL draft on Jan. 14. He was the No. 9 pick in the MLB draft in June 2018.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

The Giants have emerged as a serious contender for Bryce Harper in the past week, but USA Today’s Bob Nightengale writes that the club has “no desire” to make Harper an offer approaching the 10-year, $300 million deal he reportedly rejected from the Nationals in September.

Chicago White Sox reportedly made a $175 million offer to Machado earlier this offseason. The offer is still on the table.

Free-agent left-hander Dallas Keuchel asked for a six- to seven-year contract worth $25MM to $30MM per annum at the beginning of the offseason but has yet to sign a contract. Entering the offseason, MLBTR predicted an $82MM guarantee for the 32-year-old Keuchel.

A’s star third baseman Matt Chapman will be slowed by ongoing rehab this spring, but don’t count him out from the club’s March 20 regular-season opener against the Mariners in Tokyo.

Athletics righty James Kaprielian suffered a setback in his shoulder and will undergo an MRI.

Reliever Alex Wilson had interest from 10 or 11 different clubs, different minor league options Before the Indians signed him.

Any of the following Wil MyersManuel MargotHunter RenfroeFranchy CorderoFranmil Reyes and Travis Jankowski are all in the mix for a spot in the Padres outfield.

Brett Lawrie is mounting a comeback with the organization that got him started. The former first-round Draft pick announced via Instagram on Saturday that he’d signed with the Brewers. Lawrie, 29, hasn’t played organized baseball since the White Sox released him in March 2017.

The Royals announced on Saturday that they signed veteran right-hander Homer Bailey to a Minor League contract. Bailey, the seventh-overall pick in the 2004 MLB Draft, pitched his entire career with the Reds before Cincinnati dealt him to the Dodgers in December for salary relief as part of a seven-player deal.

The Nationals signed free-agent starter Jeremy Hellickson to a one-year deal on Friday. Hellickson will earn $1.3 million in 2019, with up to $4 million in incentives.

One of the opening day questions for the DBacks will be if they can carry three catchers which they have in each of the past two seasons under this regime. Right now it would look like Carson KellyAlex Avila, and  John Ryan Murphy.

 

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

The Anaheim Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle. Bob Murray, the team’s general manager, will serve as interim coach for the remainder of the season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed their young superstar to a huge contract, inking a five-year extension with Auston Matthews. The deal will carry an annual average value of $11.634MM, and be paid almost entirely in signing bonuses. Leafs have acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings. Going the other way is a package of forward prospect Carl Grundstrom, defense prospect Sean Durzi, and the Leafs’ 2019 first-round pick.

Pittsburgh Penguins sent Brassard, Riley Sheahan, a 2019 second-round pick (PIT), and two 2019 fourth-round picks (PIT & MIN) to the Florida Panthers in exchange for Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann.

The Chicago Blackhawks have put defenseman Luc Snuggerud on unconditional waivers for the purpose of contract termination.

 

NCAA FOOTBALL

JENNA WEST from Sports Illustrated reports Clemson still doesn’t know how three players failed drug tests ahead of the Cotton Bowl in late December, according to The Post and Courier.

The program is continuing to appeal the suspensions of defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, offensive lineman Zach Giella and tight end Brandon Galloway, who tested positive for the banned substance ostarine before Clemson’s CFP semifinal game win over Notre Dame. The three Tigers players also missed Clemson’s 44–16 national championship victory over Alabama.

Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables at that lofty level. Venables earned $2.2 million last season. He received a new contract last July that pays him $11.6 million over six seasons. Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott are now in the million-dollar club.

Miami football is back! As Manny Diaz walked behind one of Miami’s returning players into a recruiting dinner last month, the player spoke up to no one in particular. “I feel like I transferred to a new school,” he said. Behind him, Diaz smiled. “That’s kind of what I wanted to hear,” Miami’s new head coach said.

 

NCAA BASKETBALL

Duke is investigating a sexual assault allegation made against a former player, according to ESPN’s Myron Medcalf. Former Duke student Meredith Watson claimed she was raped by a member of the basketball team in 1999, per her attorney’s statement. Watson also claimed Virginia Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax raped her during her time as a student.

On Saturday afternoon, the NCAA tournament selection committee continued its tradition (born way back in 2017) of offering the world an early glimpse at the top 16 seeds in the NCAA tournament if the season ended that day. One of this year’s more intriguing subplots among bracket prognosticators is just how much the NET rankings, which the NCAA introduced this season to replace the widely panned RPI, will impact the committee’s choices.

The Big Ten is ranked as the No. 1 conference on kenpom.com, a far cry from the fifth-place finish it had after a down 2017–18.

The Kansas Jayhawks have won 14 straight Big 12 regular season crowns, but road struggles have them sitting back in fourth with five weeks to go. Kansas State Wildcats cruised to the conference lead, punctuated by Tuesday’s home win over KU.

Indiana Hoosiers with a 13-11 record this season, and 4-9 in the Big Ten, and despite wins over three teams listed in the selection committee’s initial top 16, Indiana’s only realistic path to the field of 68 now probably runs through a Big Ten tournament title the Hoosiers have never won.

 

SKIING

 Lindsey Vonn walked off with her career haul of medals in her right hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking together almost weighing her down. Whatever it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to symbolize an athlete who battled back from one major injury after another throughout her career to win more ski races than any other woman.

 

SPORTS BUSINESS NEWS, TIGER & PHIL, NBA 2K, NBA, NHL

The much-anticipated showdown between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson now has a TV place to call home. According to sources close to the event, the made-for-TV exhibition match will be shown via Pay-Per-View through DirecTV and B/R Live. As of this time, a cost for the package has not yet been disclosed. According to Mike Chiari of Bleacher Report, … Read moreSPORTS BUSINESS NEWS, TIGER & PHIL, NBA 2K, NBA, NHL

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ROUND UP

Joe Torre – former Brave, former Braves manager – is MLB’s chief baseball officer. He’s the guy who metes out penalties. Before he decides what to do with Jose Urena (although I expect he has a pretty good idea already), I’d suggest Torre watch the video, but not so much the video of the Urena … Read moreMAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL ROUND UP

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES

As Jacob deGrom rumbles into the final stretch of his best season ever, his manager knows “he’s probably going to experience something that he’s never experienced before.” A pitching coach during both of Corey Kluber’s American League Cy Young Award seasons in Cleveland, Mickey Callaway recalls the shift in Kluber’s demeanor during his final half-dozen starts those years. … Read moreMAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS & NOTES

MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY AUGUST 6, 2018, ASTROS, A’S, MARINERS, ANGELS, RANGERS

THE MICHAEL BARI SHOW August 6, 2018 CLICK THE BAR BELOW   Depending on the medical results of George Springer‘s injured left thumb, the Astros may have to rely on a makeshift outfield for a while. If the results on his left thumb doesn’t come back favorably, the question will then be raised if the front office should … Read moreMICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY AUGUST 6, 2018, ASTROS, A’S, MARINERS, ANGELS, RANGERS

MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY JULY 24-27, 2018

THE MICHAEL BARI SHOW THE WEEK OF JULY 24-27, 2018 CLICK THE BARS BELOW July 24, 2018 July 25, 2018 July 26, 2018 July 27, 2018      

MICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY JULY 25, 2018, BALLS AND STRIKES

THE MICHAEL BARI SHOW CLICK THE BAR BELOW   Major League Baseball Strike Zone One of the most-discussed issues in Major League Baseball is the consistency of the strike zone. The rule-book strike zone states “The STRIKE ZONE is that area over home plate the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the … Read moreMICHAEL BARI SHOW DAILY JULY 25, 2018, BALLS AND STRIKES