HARPER, MACHADO, BOCHY DOMINATE MLB NEWS

Bryce Harper is likely getting closer to a free agency decision now that fellow superstar Manny Machado has signed a deal with the San Diego Padres, and it sounds like he wants much more than the $300 million Machado took. Jon Heyman of Fancred reports that Harper has turned down “multiple offers” over the past … Read moreHARPER, MACHADO, BOCHY DOMINATE MLB NEWS

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 

 

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.

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS SCIOSCIA, ROSS, YANKEES, PIRATES & MUCH MORE

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia denied rumors that he is stepping down at the end of the season, calling the report “poppycock.” On Saturday night, The Athletic reported that Scoiscia would end his 19-year tenure with the Angels. According to the Orange County Register, Scioscia said “nothing’s changed since October” when talking about his status … Read moreMAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NEWS SCIOSCIA, ROSS, YANKEES, PIRATES & MUCH MORE

SUNDAY COLUMN, MLB, NBA, NFL REVIEW

Sunday column is some of the best of the week in sports. Starting with baseball, then basketball and finally some NFL. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL There has been a lot of movement this week in major league baseball. Pretty much all the contenders in both leagues have made a move to strengthen themselves for a down … Read moreSUNDAY COLUMN, MLB, NBA, NFL REVIEW

MIKE MOUSTAKAS TO THE BREWERS, CABRERA TO PHILLIES, ESCOBAR TO THE DIAMONDBACKS

The Brewers needed an impact bat, and they got it. Now they have to figure a way to work Mike Moustakas onto a roster already filled up at the infield and outfield corners. The Brewers acquired Moustakas from the Royals late Friday for outfield prospect Brett Phillips and reliever Jorge Lopez, a trade that could turn out to be a … Read moreMIKE MOUSTAKAS TO THE BREWERS, CABRERA TO PHILLIES, ESCOBAR TO THE DIAMONDBACKS

HAPP TO THE YANKEES, HAMELS TO THE CUBS, MLB TRADE DEADLINE

The New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays have announced a trade sending veteran southpaw J.A. Happ to New York. Third baseman Brandon Drury and outfield prospect Billy McKinney lead to Toronto. The Chicago Cubs have a deal to acquire Cole Hamels from the Texas Rangers, who will receive minor leaguers in return. Texas sending a significant amount of cash to … Read moreHAPP TO THE YANKEES, HAMELS TO THE CUBS, MLB TRADE DEADLINE

EOVALDI SENT TO BOSTON AFTER YANKEES PICK UP BRITTON, MLB NEWS

The Boston Red Sox have officially struck a deal to land righty Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported (via Twitter). Young lefty Jalen Beeks will go to Tampa Bay in return, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). Nine teams are said to be “in discussions” with … Read moreEOVALDI SENT TO BOSTON AFTER YANKEES PICK UP BRITTON, MLB NEWS

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEARS TEAMS POSITIONING FOR MOVES TO WIN A PENNENT

Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Chris Archer, thanks to his ace-ish upside and contract that’s team-friendly in the extreme, has been the subject of trade speculation for quite a long time. Maybe this time it finally happens? In any event, count the Yankees in. The Yankees have definite needs in the rotation as they try to … Read moreMAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL TRADE DEADLINE NEARS TEAMS POSITIONING FOR MOVES TO WIN A PENNENT

MICHAEL BARI SHOW SUNDAY COLUMN

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL The New York Mets placed Noah Syndergaard on the 10-day disabled list after he contracted hand, foot and mouth disease, he contracted while working a kids camp over the All-Star break, reported by David Lennon of Newsday.  Syndergaard remains one of the majors’ most valuable starters. While Syndergaard has racked up just 13 starts this year, … Read moreMICHAEL BARI SHOW SUNDAY COLUMN