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lako believes that Aaron Wan-Bissaka was “drifting

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first baseman was a late scratch from Thursday’s Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox with mild back tightness, according to the Star Tribune. Chris Parmelee will take his place at first. Morneau is lishelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater.The Chelsea-midfielder-Danny-Drinkwater-loan.html”>Daily MailChelsea-midfielder-Danny-Drinkwater-loan.html”> says Drinkwater is wanted by Brighton on a was delighted with Reece James’ performance in viche Manchester United hero has been playing in MLS for a year.Asked if he’s thought about going into management, Rooney told Sky Sports News: “Yeah of course.”I’m taking the steps to get my badges completed and when I finish playing I’ll see what oppotory over Crystal Palace.It marked James’ full Premier League debut with the Blues.Lampard said, “Reece was fantastic against one of the best wingers in the league one v one, Zaha is a real threat, esseason loan.The 29-year-old was left out of Chelsea’s squad forted as day-to-day.

e not received an improved offer from Arsenal for

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With Johan Santana (shoulder) potentially unavailable to start the season, manager Terry Collins said Friday that veteran might get a look as a potential starter before spring training ends. Laffey threw ncelotti blasted referee Piero Giacomelli after their 2-2 draw with Atalanta for sending him off.Napoli had a penalty denied by VAR and Atalanta in turn were able to equalise.“Do you have any doubts as to whether it ays they’re taking legal action against Corriere dello Sport.Conte was commenting after their 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.The newspaper published an email from a Bologna fan noting he was “relishing” Inter’s Champions League elimination, calling Contewas a penalty or not?” Ancelotti2 2/3 hitless innings to finish a 5-2 Grapefruit League win over Atlanta.

“We’ve got to find ourselves another insuranch Jose Bordalas took aim at his critics after eliminating Ajax to progress in the Europa League on Thursday evening.The Dutch side won 2-1 on the night but the Spaniards advanced to the round of 16 on away goals.”We had to endure accusations all weeke (starter),” Collins said. “We need some other guys in the mix.” Collins said this week that Jeremy Hefner would take Santana’s place in the rotation if he’s out for the opener.

Yankees eye Chipper, who says he’s happy being a ‘bad golfer’

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The made some noise Monday morning when general manager Brian Cashman revealed he has some level of interest in the (who didn’t even play in 2012), (who is likely to retire) and . Obviously the biggest name there is Chipper, who seems to be the most content retired player we’ve seen in recent memory.

“He’d be perfect,” Cashman said (). “I’d take Larry in a heartbeat. I think everybody would.”

Larry! Atta boy, Cashman. Just the fact that Cashman called Chipper by his rarely used given first name leads me to believe he was kCity boss Brendan Rodgers has rejected the public perception that his 2013/14 Liverpool title challenging team was The Luis Suarez show.Suarez was the Premier League’s top scorer during his final season at Liverpool, when the Reds missed out on the tind of discussing the situation tongue-in-cheek. And Cashman did say that he didn’t think Jones would have any interest in playing.

And he was right. Chipper took to Twitter to pre-emptively shoot down any rumors:

Enough with the rumors! While I am flattered about the speculation of being enticed out of retirement, I’m happy with life as a bad golfer!

— Chipper Jones (@RealCJ10)

The Yankees appear desperate for corner infield help because they are without for at least half the season and for probably arounened to Rino Gattuso and joined Milan’s youth academy when he was a child, but it’s the Rossoneri who are left with regrets.He recalled, “I was eight years old and had a trial for the Milan academy, although at the time I was a striker. “They rejecd the first six weeks of the season. They could use at third or first, so filling either corner would work.

Here’s the rub, though: Once Teixeira returns, whoever the Yankees sign will likely be relegated to bench duty. So if you’re Lee or Rolen, do you really want to play so badly that you just play for six weeks and then ride pine? It’s worth noting they wouldn’t be pursuing a first World Series ring, as Lee won it all with the 2003 Marlins and Rolen won with the ’06 Cardinals.

For mock manager Pep Guardiola.City are two times defending Premier League champions, but they are going through a difficult season under the Spaniard.They are far away from Liverpool in the Premier League, with the Champions League trophy their only realire baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

2013 Prospect Watch: Seattle Mariners

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Before the start of the season, we’ll highlight a few players in each team’s minor-league system to let you know which players you should be paying attention to throughout the year. These aren’t meant to be comprehensive top-prospect lists, but should provide a look at some key players within each team’s organization.

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The system received a big boost mid-season after drafting catcher Mike Zunino. Previously, the team had been known for its trio of pitching prospects: Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker. All three of those players took steps forward, bringing them closer to the majors. And while the Mariners might not be ready to contend just yet, those four players could make an impact on the major-league club as soon as this season. 

After being selected with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, Zunino shot up the Mariners’ minor-league system. He hit .373/.474/.736 in 133 plate appearances in Short-Season A ball, causing the team to promote him to Double-A in his first professional season. Zunino was the highest college player chosen in the draft last year, and is pretty polished for his age. It also seems like he’s a solid bet to stick at catcher, which is sometimes a problem with young prospects. The team is set to begin the season with as its full-time catcher, but that’s probably not the ideal position for him based on defensive scouting reports. If Zunino continues to hit well, he might be able to force his way onto the team later this year. 

Paxton has moved fairly quickly, making 21 starts at Double-A in his second professional season. While his control was a slight issue (he walked 11.9 percent of hitters), he managed to post a solid 3.09 ERA. Paxton may not have the upside of Walker or Hultzen, but he’s the closest of the three right now. As long as he doesn’t falter early in the season, he could be up before the trade deadline. 

At age 20, Walker is already considered one of the best pitching prospects in the minors. The consensus among prThe young midfielder is being tracked by Arsenal amid claims the Gunners are already in talks with his club about a summer deal.Voetbal International says Feyenoord are keen to offer Kokcu a pay-rise and a one-year contract extension to 2024.Along wiospect analysts is that he already has a strong fastball, but needs to work on the consistency with his curve and change-up, both of which have shown flashes of being above-average offerings. Walker may begin the season in Double-A, but could threaten to be a September call-up if all goes well. Of the three big pitchers in the Mariners’ system, he’s the one who has the highest upside.

Hultzen is known for his strong command, which made him a candidate to move quickly through the Mariners’ system after he was drafted. He did just that, reaching Triple-A during his first full season as a professional. Once he got to Triple-A, though, his performance suffered. Hultzen had a 5.92 ERA in 48.2 innings in Triple-A. It’s not as if he wasn’t ready, as he shut down hitters in Double-A, with a 1.19 ERA in 75.1 innings. His command also deserted him in Triple-A, leading to a 17.9 percent walk rate. It’s unclear what led to the drop-off in his production once he reached that level, and perhaps he just needs more time to sort things out. His struggles in Triple-A have pushed back his promotion timeline, but he could still make his major-league debut this season provided he can shake off his struggles at the end of 2012. 

Franklin was having a strong year before stumbling a bit once he reached Triple-A. In 296 plate appearances, he hit just .240/.306/.412. He’ll likely begin the year at that level, and is a candidate to push for a major-league job if he performs well. There are some questions about whether Franklin can stick at short. He seems to display strong intelligence, and gets good reads, but lacks some of the physical tools to play there. At worst, he becomes an above-average second baseman. With in town, Franklin is unlikely to see much time at ser Stegen and Barcelona have suspended new contract talks.Barca have been pushing for several weeks to reach terms with the Germany goalkeeper over a new deal to 2024.However, Sport says negotiations have now been put on-hold during the LaLiga’s coroecond in the majors this season. And while is an awful hitter, he’s a special defender at short. Franklin may prove to be ready this year, but the Mariners shouldn’t feel compelled to rush him.

The Mariners could receive significant contributions from both Zunino and Paxton early in the year, and get a taste of the future if Hultzenrahma admits he has an ambition to play in the Premier League.Benrahma is being linked with Newcastle, Leicester City and Arsenal this week.When asked about his future, Benrahma told BBC Sport: “For the moment I am focused on Brentford. This summer I and Walker make strides in the minors. The club may not be ready to contend this season, but most of its top prospects are close to reaching the majors. The future should look a lot brighter as soon as next year.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers ,  and , follow .

Rangers lose Martin Perez to fractured forearm

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lefty had b about Southampton as much as any fan.The defender says Saints is now “part of me”.He told the Daily Echo: “I care enormously. “I’ve got a lot of pride playing for and representing this club. “Sometimes it’s difficult in football because players een in linafter victory over Udinese.Inter only sparked into life after Eriksen was replaced by Marcelo Brozovic.But Conte argued: “I think that for a lad who arrived five days ago, and let’s not forget we had to rush him in because we were missing several me for the fifth starter’s job, but then this happened Sunday:

Rangers announce Martin Perez suffered a broken bone in his forearm when he was hit by a Brad Miller line drive today. Won’t throw for 4 wks

— DKnobler (@DKnobler)

It’s a fractured ulna bone in his throwing forearm, and he’s not going to be in game shape until May at the earliest.

The 21-year-old Perez has a 5.45 ERA in 38 innings at the major-league level. Across parts of five minor-league seasons, he’s pitched to a 4.23 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 2.03 K/BB ratio. Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus recently and tabbed him as a future No. 3 starter in the bigs.

In related matters, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman wonders whether the injury to Perez will cause the Rangers to Kyle Lohse.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twion.The Brazil striker proved the matchwinner at Tottenham on Saturday.And Alisson said, “Bobby is one of the most important players in our team – and we have a lot. “I think everybody is important but Bobby not only scores when we need him, he maketter: , and .

e announced plans for a new stadium.The Milan gian

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A’s catcher clubbed his his presence at a Seville festival last week.The Croatian was pictured smiling in pictures from the fesed.Newcastle are in form facing an impressive Blades tonight.Wilder said, “I am not surprised by the job he has done at Newcastle.“It is a big, big football club and you need a big personality and Steve certainly has it.“There is a result on the tivities a day after he was part of Ernesto Valverde’s team that lost 4-0 at Champions League opponents Liverpool.”I don’t have any problem with ssecond home run in three days Thursday, as he took Cubs lefty starter deep in the second innGenoa have snapped up free agent Valon Behrami.The 34-year-old Swiss international was a free agent after his deal with FC Sion was terminated by mutual consent at the start of October.This is a return to Serie A and indeed to Genoa, where Behrami already played in 2003-04.Mattia Perin has also arrived on-loan from Juventus and Mattia Destro in a similar deal from Bologna.ing. Norris’ shot was a solo home run, his second of the spring. He added one walk and a pair of runs, in a 5-3 win in Cactus League action.

Report: Diamondbacks to make another push for Rick Porcello

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The willunk to training around the holidays.The Portugese winger spoke about his time with the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson.And while he acknowledged that Ferguson was a tough manager, he said the boss had his moments of letting things slide.Speaking t attempt to package recently acquired shortstop and a pitching prospect to try and get pitcher from the , to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. 

Ahmed technically isn’t a member of the Diamondbacks yet, as the deal hasn’t been officially announced. But once it’s official, Ahmed might not remain in Arizona for long.

The Diamondbacks were mentioned as a potential trade partner for Porcello , but they weren’t thought to have the right mix of players to get a deal done. The Tigers reportedly were then seeking a shortstop. But now that the D-Backs have an extra shortstop, they may have the pieces to match up with the Tigers.

Porcello would likely jump into a starting role witt a permanent transfer for Sheyi Ojo.The 22-year-old is on a season long loan at the club, managed by Reds legend Steven Gerrard.He has played 17 games this term, scoring five and managing four assists.Football Insider says Rangers are exploring a peh the Diamondbacks, although the team has plenty of qualified candidates. , , and seem like locks for the first-four spots, with , and as potential candidates for the fifth spot.

The team will also get a mier Ademola Lookman has a bright future in the game.The 21-year-old signed for RB Leipzig in a permanent transfer, putting pen to paper on a five-year contract.He did not make it at Everton, but his former teammate Sigurdsson has no doubts about the wd-season boost from , who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Last season, Porcello had a 4.59 ERA and a 3.91 FIP in 176 1/3 innings with the Tigers. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow.

es the club had developed Goodison Park sooner.Moy

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CBSSports.com Baseball Insider Jon Heyman reported on Friday that the Seattl Sane.Sane was heavily linked with the Bundesliga giants over the summer, but a move fat” when his side scored a late winner to reach the Carabao Cup final.Villa were on the verge of a penalty shoot out with Leicester City at home.But attacker Trezeguet got them a 2-1 win in the second leg, which put them through 3-2 on aggregate.Smithiled to materialise after he was ruled out for seven months in August with an ACL injury.SPOX says the Bundesligained to hold onto his key players this summer.The Blades are one of the most impressive teams in the Premier League this season.They have held their own in the first season after promotion, and they are in with a shout of a Champions League or Europa giants are still hopeful of bringing the Germany e Mariners have agreed to a one-year, $5.25 million deal with first baseman . The Mariners acquired Morales in a January deal for pitcher .

ender John Stones.The Arsenal-hope-summer-transfer

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“Clearly, something went wrong for (Jon) last season.” That’s how regarding the Boston starter’s disastrous 2012 campaign. But Scott says Lester remains a great candidate for a significant bounce-back season in 2013, despite the 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA (both career worsts) from a year ago. Lester is just too talentema Tyres.The Blues announced on Friday that it is extending its partnership wited legend Chris Waddle is surprised Steve Bruce wants to join the club.Bruce is expected to leave Sheffield Wednesday to takeover at the club he supported as a boy.And Waddle warned the former Manchester United defender that he was walking into one oh the Japanese tyre company, who have been their shirt sponsor since 2015, although their logo will no longer be emblazoned on the front of defeat to Everton.Theo Walcott struck an injury-time winner as 10-man Everton came back from two goals down to stun Watford in a topsy-turvy encounter at Vicarage Road.Pearson reflected: “To play very positively in the first 44 minutes, to go two the club’s kit. Instead, Yokohad to be that bad again. His peripherals remained consistent with career norms, so location within the zone appears to be a culprit. We’re betting new manager John Farrell can root out the problem and bring Lester back to being a very good Fantasy pitcher. If all of this actually happens, and you pick Lester with a mid-round selection on Draft Day, you’ll be the envy of your league.

CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes has agreed personal

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Phillies second baseman , who hasn’t participated in spring training since 2010 because of chronic knee issues, is expected to be ready for spring training this year, according to the News Journal. Presumably, then, he’d also be ready for the start of the season after beginning each of the last two on the DL. “When a guy is down for two years and doesn’t play full seasons in the two years prior you have to be a little concerned. But we think Chase has learned and we have learned to manage whatever he’s got going on in his knees pretty well,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “We thinNew Everton assistant manager Luis Boa Morte admits he’s been shaped by all the coaches he’s worked with.As a player who made 296 Premier League appearances he plaact with Tottenham until 2021.He has now joined League One side Ipswich Town on loan until January.A product of the Spurs Academy system, the 22-year-old winger made his first team debut for us in a Champions League group stage fixture against APOEL yed under Arsene Wenger at Arsenal and Jean Tigana at Fulham.But he also worked alongsik he’s put hiy bid for Birmingham City attacker Jude Bellingham.ESPN says United’s pursuit for Bellingham failed with Brum rejecting a £20million offer for the highly-rated midfielder.The Red Devils’ bid was rebuffed due to the structure of the deal and an agreemself in the position to be ready to go out of the chute this spring. But that remains to be seen.”

Top free-agent hit list: Projected salaries for Greinke, Hamilton, Bourn and 39 more

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will be pursued by the and . (US Presswire)

Pay no attention to the weak World Series ratings. Revenues in baseball are up, franchise values are way up and a free-agent class that is interesting but almost devoid of major stars (after the top few guys) should benefit greatly.

After all, this is, as Bud Selig has reminded us many times, the golden era of baseball.

And these guys are the luckiest of all the beneficiaries.

With help from an unnamed expert source on the player side (not an agent who represents these players), here are predicted dollar amounts for 42 top names in this year’s class, with my own guesses, as well.

With a potential bidding war between two big-market crosstown rivals (the two L.A.’s), he stands to be the big winner. My expert has him No. 1, and I agree. Expert: $147 million, 6 years. Me: $150 million, 6 years. 

One of the more interesting markets in years. One management source predicts a small-to-mid market could break the bank. I could see , whether it be the US Bank (Brewers GM Doug Melvin joked they might need that particular bank), or whatever bank. Expert: $137 million, 5 years. Me: $140 million, 6 years.

More on free agencyRelated links | | | | | | | | More coverage | | |

The Nationals and Phillies could do battle for this prototype center fielder/leadoff man. Expert: $83 million, 5 years. Me: $80 million, 5 years.

The same two teams should play here (as could the Giants, who may also be in on Bourn). Expert: $70 million, 5 years. Me: $65 million, 5 years.

5. , OF. Regular-season numbers aren’t far off those of , who got $126 million for seven years. But how much with defense and October matter? Expert: $67 million, five years. Me: $39 million, three years.

Very good postseason should help. Incumbent have said they be will be in mix. Expert: $65 million, 5 years. Me: $70 million, 5 years.

Superb and consistent season and postseason (this time without guru Dave Duncan) followed a very good one. Expert: $64 million, 4 years. Me: $70 million, 4 dio Mane says his brace in the UEFA Super Cup final win over Chelsea was down to the play of Roberto Firmino.Firmino came on at half-time and set Mane up twice to fire home for Liverpool.”To be honest, I think I was just a lucky boy,” the Senegal intyears.

His big year in changed his image. No one benefited more from his walk year. Expert: $45 million, 4 years. Me: $30 million, 3 years.

Monster year should pay off. The Red Sox, who had him briefly, should covet LaRoche. The incumbent Nats surely do, too. Expert: $39 million, 3 years. Me: $56 million, 4 years.

Replaced Mariano Rivera and put up a Rivera-like year. Could see the Tigers making a play. Expert: $39 million, 3 years. Me: Agree.

The Nationals turned down a $13.3-million qualifying offer, which ought to be a clue. But who knows? Pitching is so scarce, he is undeniably durable and consistent, and now he doesn’t have a draft pick attached to him. Expert: $37 million, 3 years. Me: $36 million, 3 years.

He should probably return to the National League after slipping somewhat as the Rangers’ late-deadline afterthought pickup. Expert: $33 million, 3 years. Me: $25 million, 2 years.

Big postseason will help, though personality quirk may be an issue with some. Expert: $28 million, 3 years. Me: $12 million, 2 years.

He encountered rough seas last offseason, but a cameo in should help. Expert: $25 million, 3 years. Me: $15 million, 2 years.

Terrific finish showed he has plenty left. Expert: $22 million, 2 years. Me: $30 million, 2 years.

Inspirational pick was having a nice year before the unfortunate liner. Expert: $22 million, 2 years. Me: $20 million, 2 years.

His off year will hurt a little, but probably not as much as you think. Expert: $21 million, 2 years. Me: $30 million, 3 years.

18. , 3B. He fit nicely on the South Side but his overall numbers still diminished. Expert: $18 million, 2 years. Me: $20 million, 2 years.

Huge year in perhaps makes him feel better about Petco difficulties. Expert: $17 million, 2 years. Me: $24 million, 3 years.

Very nice bounce back season. Expert: $16.5 million, 2 years. Me: $15 million, 2 years.

He’s solid and consistent, which plays pretty well this year. Expert: $16 million, 2 years. Me: $24 million, 3 years. 

Big walk year helps. have replacement ready, but watch if Jerry Reinsdorf brings back a favorite. Expert: $15 million, 2 years. Me: $20 million, 2 years.

Very good lefty reliever who should be appreciated this winter. Expert: $14.5 million, 3 years. Me: $16.5 million, 3 years.

Nice set-up man, but was better in than . Expert: $16 million, 3 years. Me: $15 million, 3 years.

Had a very nice year in but could surely use competition from the other two big spenders, the Phillies and . Expert: $14 million, 2 years. Me: $21 million, 3 years.

Postseason hero should cash in, but it’ll be a surprise if he leaves San Francisco. Expert: $14 million, 2 years. Me: $15 million, 2 years.

He resurrected his career in after not dealing well with Coors Field. We can rule out , anyway. Expert: $14 million, 2 years. Me: $27 million, 3 years.

He’s willing to do a one-year deal so he has something left when he finishes his career later in Japan. The Yankees should be able to make a deal here after giving him the $13.3-million qualifying offer. Expert: $14 million, 1 year. Me:sted in the vacant Newcastle job.The Dutchman has been unemployed since leaving Feyenoord and becomes the first name to publicly declare his interest in replacing Rafa Benitez, who will leave at the end of this month.”I think the rumours have come a $15 million, 1 year.

He consistently outpitches his stuff, though he had a bit of injury trouble last year. Expert: $10.25 million, 1 year. Me: $20 million, 2 years.

He resurrected his career once with the Yankees. Maybe the Giants make a play this time. Expert: $11 million, 1 year. Me: $10 million, 1 year.

His huge postseason should make him coveted. Expert: $11 million, 2 years. Me: $18 million, 3 years.

Everyone is assuming the Yankees will automatically give him the same money or more. But being that he won’t pitch elsewhere, is 43 and returning from a knee injury, that’s not quite a certainty. Expert: $10 million, 1 year. Me: $12 million, 1 year.

The ’ trade fell through at the last minute, so he’s probably not too far off the difference between the $15.5-million option and $3.5-million option. Expert: $10 million, 1 year. Me: $20 million, 2 years.

Nice solid starter is better than you think. Expert: $10 million, 2 years. Me: $14 million, 2 years.

An off year offensively could hurt him. But his ability to play first base or DH helps. The Red Sox, who have eyed him for years, make sense. Expert: $9 million, 1 year. Me: $16 million, 2 years.

The .211 batting average is a detriment, even at a time where BA has been devalued. But should it? Very good defender with power. Expert: $7 million, 1 year. Me: $15 million, 2 years.

He came back to pitch for a bargain $2.5 million last year, but they’ll presumably strike a compromise between that and market value this time. Expert: $6.5 million (plus $4 million in incentives). Me: $10 million.

He’ll look for a closer job a year after Tommy John. Expert: $6.5 million, 1 year. Me: $7.5 million, 1 year.

Like Madson, he missed 2012 with an elbow issue. Expert: $6.5 million, 1 year. Me: Agree.

The poor finish where his pitches flattened out makes the previous contract — where ex-agent Dan Lozano accepted a $9-million club option, Valverde says without his consent (he’s filed a grievance against his ex-agent) — costly. Expert: $6.25 million, 1 year. Me: $7 million, 1 year.

As time goes by, perhaps the shenanigans will be less rememHarry Arter is a step away from leaving Bournemouth.Sky Sports says Arter completed his medical at Fulham on Saturday night.It’s thought a potential season-long loan deal with an obligation to buy could be complete later today.Arter spent last season on-loan with Cardiff City.bered. Everyone thinks a one-year deal is right, but don’t be shocked if someone steps up for two. Expert: $6 million, 1 year. Me: $8 million, 1 year.

He hasn’t decided whether he’s coming back. Hunch is the Astros probably will want him most. Expert: $5 million, 1 year. Me: $9 million, 1 year.

Report: Ichiro wants to stay in New York

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wants to return to the next season, to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman.

Sherman spoke to a person close to Ichiro, who said the 38-year-old outfielder really enjoyed playing for the team. Ichiro t allocation for the Champions League final against Tottenham.Both the Reds and Spurs were given 16,613 tickets each for the clash at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid on June 1.That is despite the new stadium boasting a capacity of 68,000, with the liked that the atmosphere in the clubhouse was “professional” and that many of the players on the teamhis game on two Brazilians.Lampey left Chelsea for Brighton last week.He spoke about his personal qualities and the players he has admired during his development, which includes two famous Brazilians.Lamptey said, “I’m very hardworking and will giv are close to his age.

It may not take a lot of money to entice Ichiro to stay, either. According to Sherman’s source, Ichiro would likely decline a larger contract in order to stay where he’s happy. He allegedly deferred about $5 million per year on his last longterm deal in order to stay in . Sherman said that a one-year deal worth betw with Southampton.Adrian suffered a freak ankle injury after his penalty shoot-out heroics against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final when he was clattered by a pitch invader.“Today I feel much better,” he told the official club website.“It was een $5 million and $8 million could be enough for Ichiro to re-sign. He added that Ichiro may want an option for the following season. Since joining the Yankees, Ichiro has hit .283/.307/.390 in 240 plate appearances. 

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow .

Higher powers or Giant powers? Either way, San Francisco halfway to another World Series crown

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SAN FRANCISCO — Some things they planned.Some they didn’t.Up two games to none in the World Series, the Giants know better than to deny luck has played a part. We know better than to think it’s all luck.The Gregor Blanco bunt that stopped in fair territory when by all rights it should have rolled foul, in the most important play in Thursday night’s Game 2? Luck.The seven shutout innings from Madison Bumgarner, that allowed the Blanco bunt to matter? Not luck.The second-inning relay throw to the plate that ruined the Tigers’ best chance to score a run? Mostly not luck.

More Tigers-Giants coverage More World Series Coverage | | | |

It’s not fair to the Giants to credit everything that has happened over the last week to some greater power. It’s not fair to the powers of truth to deny that some absolutely nutty things have helped bring the Giants to where they are now, two wins from what would be their second title in three years.In only the past three games — Game 7 against the Cardinals, and Gamd a new deal with Watford.The Brazilian goalkeeper has signed up for another year of football with the Hornets, despite declaring that he was 99 per cent sure he would retire at the end of his contract back in March. “I couldn’t say no to the club bees 1 and 2 against the Tigers — the Giants have benefited from a Hunter Pence line drive that changed directions in mid-air, an Angel Pagan ground ball that caromed off third base and Blanco’s bunt that the Giants were certain would roll foul — until it didn’t.”You just go home and you thank the higher powers of whoever is in charge,” third-base coach Tim Flannery said after the Giants’ 2-0 Game 2 victory against the Tigers. “And try not to piss the others off.”The Giants, who trailed two games to none in the Division Series and three games to one in the NLCS, would never say a two-games-to-none World Series lead is safe. But with their two most consistent starting pitchers — Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain — set to pitch the next two games in Detroit on Saturday and Sunday, it would be crazy not to say they’re feeling pretty good.They know that they’ve already been through what should have been the riskier part of their rotation, with Barry Zito and Bumgarner forced to start the first two games because Vogelsong and Cain’s services were required in Games 6 and 7 victories against the Cardinals.The riskier part of the rotation allowed exactly one run in 12 2/3 innings. Bumgarner, who was so bad in his first two postseason starts (eight innings, 10 runs) that he was pulled from the rotation, was brilliant on Thursday. He allowed the Tigers only two hits, a Delmon Young double that would have scored a run except for that relay throw that cut down Prince Fielder at the plate, and a fourth-inning infield single by Omar Infante.Bumgarner’s great start certainly wasn’t lucky, but it did begin with the Giants crossing their fingers. Pitching coach Dave Righetti believed he had spotted and corrected a flaw in Bumgarner’s delivery (basically, the left-hander needed to speed things up a little, allowing him to drive off the mound better), and Bumgarner was able to implement the change in a few bullpen sessions.”It speaks volumes about Madison,” Vogelsong said. “It’s hard to fix something and carry it into ained to lead Serbia into the Euro2020 finals.The Balkan nation will face Portugal in a qualifier on Saturday, hoping to catch Group B leaders Ukraine.”We see every success as euphoric, and every failure as a tragedy,” Matic said. “We have such a ment game. Not only that, but into a big game. He was off pretty bad [before]. You can repeat it in the bullpen all day, but carrying it to the mound is different.”Hats off to him. Quite honestly, I don’t think I’d have been able to do that.”Fortunately for the Giants, Vogelsong shows no signs of needing to be fixed. The Giants have won each of his three postseason starts, and he has allowed only three runs in 19 innings.Strong starting pitching is one reason this is all starting to have a very 2010 feel for the Giants. They’ve played five games since falling behind three games to one to the Cardinals, and in those five games the starters have pitched 33 innings while allowing only two runs.The cumulative score in those five games: Giants 30, Cardinals/Tigers 4.Pretty hard to argue that’s all luck.Another reason to think this is 2010 all over again: Just as they did to the Rangers, the Giants beat up the Tigers’ ace in Game 1, then shut them out in Game 2.In 2010, the Giants followed that up by winning two of the three games in Texas, coming home only for a victory parade. They would love to think this World Series plays out the same way, but all they’ll say now is that they would rather be two games up than two games down.That seems obvious, but remember, the Giants were behind in both of their first two series, including that crazy 0-2 deficit after two home games in a best-of-5 first-round series with the Reds.”0-2? No, that would not be recommended,” Jeremy Affeldt said. “Statistically, it’s probably better to be 2-0 than 0-2.”Statistically, he would be right. Teams that have gone up two games to none have won the World Series nearly 80 percent of the time (41 times out of 52).Logically, he would be right, too. But not all of what has happened to the Giants the past few days has followed any logic.”I’ve never been one to say luck had a lot to do with what happens,” Vogelsong said. “I think you make your own luck. But we’ve had a lot go our way.”The Blanco bunt was the biggest thing that went their way Thursday.In the seventh inning of a scoreless game, the Giants had runners at oungsters as they continue to produce on the pitch.The likes of Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham are starting to reward Frank Lampard’s faith in their talent.With Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ruben Loftus-Cheek to come into the team, Cascarino believes the Blfirst and second with no outs. Blanco, the Giants’ best bunter, had a 3-1 count after taking three close pitches and fouling off one bunt attempt.His next bunt went a few feet down the third-base line. It stayed on the dirt, and at AT&T Park, that invariably means it’s bound to roll foul.”That was unbelievable,” said Blanco, who crossed first base and pumped his fist as if he had driven in the winning run. “As soon as I bunted it, I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, it’s going to go foul.’ “Flannery, in the third-base coaching box, was thinking the same thing.”You always have to keep the ball on the grass here, or it will roll off foul,” he said. “I don’t know if it was the rain or what, but it didn’t. As soon as he bunted it, I hoped someone would grab it, because I thought it was going foul.”Tigers catcher Gerald Laird thought the same thing and let it roll — and then watched helplessly as it stopped in fair territory.The Giants had the bases loaded with no outs, and when Brandon Crawford followed with a double-play grounder, the Giants had the only run they would really need.That was true thanks in large part to Bumgarner — and also to that relay that was mostly skill, with perhaps a touch of Giants luck mixed in.Bumgarner had begun the second inning by hitting Fielder with a pitch. Young followed with a shot down the left-field line, and when it took a bounce off the side wall, Tigers third-base coach Gene Lamont sent Fielder to try to score the game’s first run.Blanco eventually got the ball in left field and fired it in. He overthrew Crawford, the first cutoff man, and the ball went to Marco Scutaro, the second cutoff man.”I don’t know what Scoot was doing there,” Blanco said. “Thank God he was there.”Luck?”[Blanco] is an outfielder, he doesn’t know,” Scutaro said. “I’m supposed to be there.”In any case, Scutaro took the ball and made a strong throw to catcher Buster Posey, whose swipe tag caught Fielder’s back just before Fielder’s foot touched the plate. Had Fielder slid away from the throw, he no doubt would have been safe. But he didn’t.Saved from the early run, Bumgarner got stronger.”That was huge,” Bumgarner said. “I think that might have been a momentum shifter for me.”It was huge, but it didn’t win the game all by itself, because the Giants still had to score a run, and for six innings against Doug Fister, they couldn’t. Without the bunt that stopped, maybe they don’t score in the seventh inning, either.Luck? Or maybe just a sign that this is all supposed to happen for the Giants?”As the great Carlos Santana — guitar player, not catcher — said in 2010, sometimes you have to know when to get out of the way of yourself,” Flannery said.The Giants are doing that very well. The Giants are basically doing everything very well.No, it’s not all luck.But even the Giants would tell you, it’s not all according to plan, either.

Mat Latos ready for Game 5 start

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(US Presswire)

CINCINNATI — Last December, Walt Jocketty traded three of the Reds’ top prospects to for a pitcher he thought could put the team over the edge — the type of pitcher that you can count on in the postseason if you have just one game to win. will have his chance to prove he’s that guy on Thursday.

Latos will start Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the Giants for the Reds at Great American Ball Park on Thursday afternoon with the chance to send to the National League Championship Series for the first time in 17 years.

Latos, 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA, came into Game 1 in relief for the injured and pitched four innings of one-run baseball. He was 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA against during the regular season and has quite the history with the team. To say he’s fired up, one teammate said, would be an understatement.

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After the Game 4 loss, Latos was brought into the interview room for a postgame news conference. Manchester United team of the Premier League era.The Red Devils lost 2-0 to West Ham United on Sunday, leaving theme with eight points from their first six matches in the Premier League.”This is the worst group Manchester United have ever had since tHis responses were terse, but he said he was certainly up for the task, especially pitching on regular rest.

“I’m just looking at it as another start,” Latos said. “I just got to go out there and pitch my game.”

The last time Latos faced a Giants team in a do-or-die situation, the Giants beat Latos and the Padres on the final day of the 2010 season — “2010 was in 2010. 2012 is a little different,” Latos said. “It’s two years ago, so …”

He’ll be facing Giants ace , the loser of Game 1.

“All four games have been pretty mentally tiring, well-played games on our end there and well-played games on their end here,” Reds left fielder said. “It’ll be a good matchup, Latos, Cain, that’s two pretty-good pitchers.”

Despite the Reds’ two losses, the team remained confident, especially in Latos.

“I’m excited he’s getting the ball, I have a lot of confidence in him, he’s got a lot of confidence,” catcher said. “He’s going to be Mat, he’s going to be aggressive and come at guys and do what it takes. He’s pitched well for us, he’s been hot. That’s all in our favor.”

For more baseball nhe career plan.The ex-midfielder, who has retireyang is too selfless to play for an elite club.Aubameyang has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona throughout his career.But former Gunners scout Mislintat, who signed the striker from Borussia Dortmund, was quoted by The Athletic saying: “He id and is now the coach of Al Sadd in Qatar, has recently completed his UEFA Pro Licence at Las Rozas in Madrid. And his goal remains to make it back to Barça as the club’s first team coach one day. “Myews, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

rom England.O Jogo says Newcastle are interested i

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White Sox reliever , who was already pitching for Chicago’s Triple-A affiliate in Charlue competitions with immediatefender was given a number of opportunities to impress over the course of pre-season and grabbed his first chance of senior football with both hands.Silva told the Liverpool Echo: “He [Gibson] needs to work more and more with us to improve, to be more effect, reports, /.It mn the blame for Wilfried Ndidi’s mistake in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea on Sunday.The Foxes midfielder was at fault for Chelsea’s first goal when he allowed Mason Mount to tackle him on the edge of the box.”The mistake is down to me,” the Foxes boss saeans tickets prices for away fans will now be capped at a maximum of €70 (US$77) in the Champions League and €45 (US$49) in the Europa League, which Uefa says represents the level of the lowesotte, was officially outrighted in a move that was more technical than physical, taking him off the team’s 40-man roster.