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irror says the Shakers had been poised to be expel

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The designated left-handed reliever for assignment Sunday to clear space on theter Milan coach Antonio Conte is delighted seeing Romelu Lukaku off the mark.Lukaku struck on debut in the 4-0 rout of Lecce.Conte said, “Lukaku stepped into the Inter world in the best possible way, with great humility. He is a gentle giant, alway 40-man rosted Edu Gasper as new technical director.The 41-year-ohip revenue fall €55.2 million (US$60.6 million) to €75.3 million (US$82.9 million) for the 2019/20 season, reports, /.The Serie A giants pocketed €130.5 million (US$143.6 million) in sponsorship over the 2018/19 campaign, but a new public filild, who made 127 appearances for the Gunners over five seasons between 2000 and 2005, will be responsible for player scouting and squad recruitment. He takes up the post after leaving his team manaer for Lyle Overbay, reports the New York Daily News. 

Rapada was expected to land on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury, but the Yankees needed the roster space. 

Dodgers facing pitching crunch before Sunday’s roster deadline

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The have acquired a lot of players and spent a whole bunch of money over the last 12 months, especially on the pitching side. They have a logjam of arms to clear before Sunday’s 3 p.m. ET roster deadline, when all 30 clubs must have their 25-man opening day rosters finalized.

We can fit all of Los Angeles’ big-league-ready pitchers into four caggling with his massive summer price-tag.Previous Gunners boss Unai Emery approved the £72million purchase of Pepe from Lille last summer, but the Ivory Coast international has so far scored just three goals in 21 Premier League appearances for the tegories:

: LHP , RHP , RHP , RHP , LHP , RHP , RHP , LHP

This is the easiest group. These guys will all make the team because they’re either really good or because the team paid a lot of money to acquire/retain them in the not-too-distant past. As easy as it gets.

: LHP

Elbert resumed throwing this week after on his elbow. He’ll begin the year on the DL and appears to be a few weeks from returning.

: RHP , LHP , RHP

In another year, these three would have been fighting for a bullpen spot during spring training. Because the Dodgers are so loaded, they’ll instead go to the minors and serve as depth players who will help cover for the inevitable injury.

: LHP , RHP , LHP , RHP , RHP , RHP

Assuming the Dodgers carry a typical 12-man pitching staff — five starters and seven relievers — four of these guys will make the team while two others will be left on the outside looking in.

Gregg is on a minor-league contract. Though he hasn’t been particularly effective in recent years (92 ERA+ from 2011-12), he allowed just one run on three hits and no walks in 10 1/3 inning this spring. Guerrier had a rough spring (6.48 ERA) after missing most of last season with an elbow issue, but he’s owed $4.75 million in 2013. Belisario is out of minor-league options — meaning he can’t be sent to Triple-A without clearing waivers — and pitched to a 150 ERA+ in 2012.

Capuano, Harang and Lilly are where it gets really interesting. All three are starters who lost their rotation spots due to the club’s spending spree. Capuano, 34, finished the spring strong after a rough start (7.20 ERA overall). As a lefty, he could move into the bullpen to complement Howell. At the same time, he has trade value because he’s relatively affordable ($6 million in 2013) and was solid last summer (102 ERA+).

Harang, 34, has also had a rough spring overall (8.20 ERA), but like Capuano he is coming off a solid year (105 ERA+) and is affordable ($7 million). He doesn’t have Capuano’s injury history (which includes two Tommy John surgeries), but teams do value left-handedness, which Harang can’t offer. He also doesn’t have much experience pitching out of the bullpen.

Lilly, 37, has pitched to a 14.00 ERA this spring and was limited to just eight starts (122 ERA+) last summer due to shoulder problems. Between that and his salary ($12 millioty to break down deep-lying opponents after Sunday’s 2-0 defat to Watford. The result means United have won only once in their 17 games in which they have enjoyed the majority of possession.”We were sloppy, we gave the ball away numerous times especin), he lags cn touch.Mihajlovic was diagnosed with leukaemia in July, so spent all of pre-season and most of the campaign so far in hospital undergoing two courses of chemotherapy.“Don’t worry, the boss can make himself heard even when he’s not physically preseonsiderably behind Capuano and Harang in the trade-value department. There is room for all three guys in the bullpen, but it will cost the team elsewhere.

The Dodgers haven’t made any indications about their pitching plans, but my guess is they will trade either Capuano or Harang (Mets? Rockies?) before Sunday’s deadline and somehow cut ties with Guerrier. That could mean a trade, a release or a trip through waivers. Belisario, Gregg, Lilly and either Harang or Capuano would join the other eight guys on the opening day staff. Injuries (Lilly’s shoulder? Guerrier’s elbow?) could change things, obviously.

That is all just a guess on my part. It seems like the Dodgers have so much pitching depth — both starters and relievers — that sticking both Capuano and Harang in the bullpen would be a waste. Some team will surely give up a prospect for one of those guys. They’re probably stuck with Lilly given his salary and recent injury history, and Belisario was too effective last summer to cut loose. I suppose Gregg could go in favor of Guerrier if the team doesn’t think the scouting reports back up the spring performance. Something has to give, though. Los Angeles simply has too many arms for too few spots right now.

22-year-old completed a big money move from Brentf

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reliever earned his third save of the spring with a cl Azzurri were knocked out of the Champions League at the group stage which included finalists Liverpool and were dumped out of the Europa League in the last eight by Arsenal, who will face Chelsea in Baku.Ancelotti said, “It is a small consolation ean ninth inning Thursday against the Marlins.

Boggs has a 1.13 ERA in eight spring innings and remains in line to close for the Cardinals until Jason Motte returns from injury. Motte is exp has confirmed the club are weighing up loan options for Emile Smith Rowe, Eddie Nketiah and Tyreece John-Jules.A’s No1.Martinez is currently backup for Bernd Leno.But he wrote for arsenal.com: “I made a promise to my dad that I would make it. I intend to keep that promise.”I’m the No 2 for now, but it won’t stay that way. My aim is to be No 1 and I’ll keep worsked about exciting midfielder Smith Rowe, Arteta said: “We are assessing the situation with three of them [young players]. “We are evaluected to open the season on the disabled list, and there isn’t a hard timetable for his return. The injury is denoted as a “strain” for now, suggesting it won’t keep Motte out for long.

rentino Perez and coach Zinedine Zidane.It’s been

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manager Mike Re Pulisic admits he’s upset being left out as he struggles to adapt to life at Chelsea.Pulisic, 21, has started just three Premier League games this season and did not even make the bench for Chelsea’s Champions League win at Lille last week.Pulisic sdmond said Wednesday’s he isn’t sure if prospect will make the opening day roster. With Rob Brantly already tabbed to be the starting catcher, Redmond isn’t sure he wants to have two catchers on the roster with little major-league experience, according to The Miami Herald.

“To have two Crystal Palace and Aston Villa know how much it will cost to Fabino Borini.AC Milan are keen to cut ties with the former Liverpool striker.Calciomercato says the Italian will cost at least €15m.Borini scored just twice in 20 appearances for Milan last season.He has had spells in England with Chelsea, Swansea City, Liverpool and Sunderland.young guys like that is not an ideal situation,” Redmond said. “I feel comfortable with ‘Skipor their clash with Arsenal and David Luiz.Luiz sealed a surprise switch from Chelsea to Arsenal last summer in an £8m deal. He will face his old club next month.“I’ve faced him a few times, he for Chelsea, me for Shakhtar, me for Chelsea, he for py,’ but at the same time I’m nervous having two young guys back there. So we’ll have to see how that plays out. All those are issues and things we have to take into account. That’s why it’s going down to the last day, to make those decisions.”

Jadon Sancho.England star Sancho, 19, continues t

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As exphat he can trim his squad in the coming weeks.The Saints have a bloated squad, but there are several players who are not a part of the manager’s long term plans.However, Hasenhuttl believes that several moves will happen in the coming weeks, allowingected, the shipped shortstop to Triple-A Albuquerque Tuesday, according to the team’s official website. Gordon hit .206 with a .386 on-base percentage and a .20e award for Goal of the Month for February.The Czech Republic international scored with a stunning strike in the away victory over Southampton.It capped off an impressive comeback for Vydra after he was almost sold in January.Matej Vydra has been cho6 slugging in 20 Cactus League g Milner will renew with Liverpool this summer.That is according to Steve Nicol, who believes there is no chance of Milner leaving on a free transfer.The English midfielder is out of contract, but given his value to the club, Nicol thinks he will exteames before he was sent down.

Trading Rick Porcello would be a mistake

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starting pitcher has been involved in trade rumors throughout the spring. The latest is that the and are “active” in talks on Porcello, . The Tigers reportedly would need a “strong” return to cough up Porcello, and it’s always worth listening to offers, so the Tigers aren’t doing anything wrong.

Yet.

If they do trade Porcello, however, I believe they will regret it down the road.

The folly would be to surmise that Porcello has had four years in the majors and has proven he’s not a quality starter. He was 10-12 with a 4.59 ERA last season and led the AL in hits allowed, sure, but he’s still only 24 years old. History is lined with both l tactical advice to the players.Ronaldo is now owner Real Valladolid, while Berlusconi controls Monza.”Why did you never make a goal from the corner? It’s so easy,” Ronaldo claimed Berlusconi said.“Put everybody outside the area and when he kicks iate bloomers and players who didn’t even hit the majors until they were 24. There’s a reason why Porcello was taken in the first round out of high school and landed a spot in the Tigers’ rotation at the tender young age of 20. He’s incredibly talented.

And we nue to grow.The 22-year-old has scored eight goals which is good enough to make him the joint-leading scorer in the Premier League.Although he didn’t score in Saturday’s win over Newcastle, Lampard is pleased with other facets of Abraham’s game.Lampamight just be seeing the start of something special this spring.

This obviously comes with a huge caveat. Spring stats for the most part don’t mean much. There are just far too many circumstances that don’t equate to success in the regular season. With someone young and on the trading block like Porcello, however, I feel like it’s worth a look. And he has a 2.50 ERA, 0.78 WHIP and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings this spring. Oh, and zero walks. That’s right. Eighteen strikeouts and zero walks in 18 spring innings.

So Porcello could very well be primed for a breakout season, meaning the Tigers have the potential to have an elite rotation.

The flip side to the argument would be that the Tigers are in “win now” mode and that holding a youngster in hopes that he breaks out goes against the mindset. I’d offer up two items in rebuttal:

1. Porcello is the fifth starter. Not a prospect. 2. What the Tigers reportedly seek in return — a right-handed hitting outfielder and/or a closer — isn’t worth coughing up a major-league-caliber starter with breakout potential like Porcello.

The Tigers might have no intention of trading Porcello and instead are merely listening to offers because they are .The 24-year-old rarely posts on social media, but took to Twitter just before 9pm to reveal his home down south had been broken into while he popped out for some food with his partner, Lauren, reports the Evening Chronicle.Hayden had been spending tgetting them. If that’s the case, they are doing exactly what they should — because trading Porcello right now would be a mistake.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

Sterling is alongside the biggest names in the gam

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After a rocky start to spring training in which he allowed 27 runs in his first 13 innings, starting pitcher was back in form in his last outing on the mound, limiting the Rockies to two hits in five innings. While most pitchers downplay spring struggles, Kershaw admitted during that rough patch that he’s not getting the results he’s wants, which may have scared offregrets.Foster has enjoyed late career success with the Hornets.And he recalled to the club’s website: “…there was a tweet by Edwin van der Sar that got a bit of attention a while back. I said that goalkeepers are the hardest workers and he replied a few early drafters. Their loss. Unless you hear of Kershaw’s velocity being down or his elbow or shoulder aching, you should assume any spring struggles are just a case of him building up to mie Norway international is available from Genk for €25m as interest intensifies this month.Voetbal Primeur says Brighton and the Blades have made a move for Berge ahited boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted with the form this season of Fred.The 26-year-old struggled for form in his first season at the club, following his £52m ­arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk.But he scored two goals in the 5-0 Euro romp over Clead of this week’s Premier League transfer deadline.However, Fiorentina are also intdseason form.

alph Hasenhuttl admits Mario Lemina could leave in

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The finalized their rotation plans Thursday for the start of the season. As expected, will start opening day, April 1,nchester United boss Jose Mourinho has held talks with Bayern Mun has turned nasty when clashing with former Manchester United teammate John O’Kane.Neville, who is part owner of Salford City, was mocking United fans protesting against the Glazer family’s management of the club.Replying to an initial tweet brandingich about the coach’s job.TMW says ex-Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger also spoke with Bayern about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted with the progress of their youngsters.Solskjaer says the baptism of fire he has had to give a number of his younger players this season will serve them well in the future.“Character will be revealed in tough times succeeding the sacked Niko Kovac.But for now, Bayern are happy to stick with interim coa at Pittsburgh. He will be followed by on April 3 at Pittsburgh and the following day to finish the series. will then open a three-game series at Atlanta on April 5 and be followed by before the rotation resets. Feldman, who signed as a free agent in the offseason, is 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA and 2.14 WHIP in three spring starts (seven innings).

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.

cision to step down as manager on matchdays.Kompan

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Cubs shortstop turned down an opportunity to play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic in order to prepare for the 2013 season. “I told (Moises Alou) I’d think about it. But I don’t want to be on the bench. is there. I haChampionship Huddersfield have signed Chelsea midfielder Trevoh Chalobah on a season-long loan.The 20-year-old joins the Terriers on the back of a f their three big name loan players.Inter are eager to buy defender Jesus Vallejo.The on-loan Real Madrid centre-half is ready to quit his season-long deal this month and return to Spain.Real are eager to loan him out again and has offers from Granada and Leganes. However, Vallejo is yet to make a choice.Intagain in January – and will seek to fund their plans with three sales.Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic and Joao Mario will all be cashed in.Argentine striker Icardi has started the season very well ull season of experience in the Championship with Ipswich Town.ve respect for him. I’d be on the bench. It’s better for me to be working, playing every day in spring training,” Castro said in mid-January, per ESPN.

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.”

Rangers, A.J. Pierzynski agree on one-year, $7.5M deal

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(Getty Images)

The have agreed to sign free-agent catcher , according to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. The one-year deal is pending a physical and is worth $7.5 million, repEd Woodward’s public support was “not needed”. Despite their poor form, Red Devils executive vice-chairman Woodward said at United’s quarterly investors’ call last Tuesday that “it’s important that we’re patient while Ole and his team build for the forts Jon Heyman.

Pierzynski, 35, hit .278/.326/.501 with 27 homers, 77 RBI and 68 runs last season in 135 games for the . The 27-homer season appears an outlier, however, as Pierzynski hit only 17 homers combined in 2010-11 and his previous career high in single-season home runs was 18, back in 2005.

It’s also true that US Cellular Field is a homer-friendly ballpark, as it ranked fourth in homers last season and Pierzynski hit 18 of his home runce Goodridge has signed a new contract with the Clarets, extending his stay at Turf Moor until the summer of 2021.Goodridge, 20, originally started out at Manchester City, before spending two years at Newcastle United in the youth team, where he plays at The Cell, but so is Rangers Ballpark. So the expected regression in power numbers will only be due to Pierzynski returning more to previous levels and not attributable to the home ballpark.

Behind the plate, Pierzynski works well with his pitching staff and has thrown out 24 percent of would-be basestealers in his career.

Pierzynski will slide in as the Rangers’ everyday catcher while will serve as the primary backup.

For more baseball news, rumors and arector general Mateu Alemany has officially left the club.Alemany follows Marcelino, who was sacked as head coach earlier this season, after a couple of hugely successful years working together.”Following the initial agreement reached last week for tnalysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Report: Michael Bourn still too expensive for Reds

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general manager Walt Jocketty says free-agent center fielder is still out of their price range, Mark Sheldon of .com reported Friday.

Bourn, 29, made just under $7 million last year, his last arbitration season. The center fielder hit .274/.348/.391 with the in 2012 with 42 stolen bases. Although he isn’t expected to pull in a contract like ‘s five-year, $75-million deal with the Braves, Bourn should pull in at least $10 million per year for at least four years — a deal similar to or better than the one receivee style of manager Graham Potter.The stats say Newcastle had less of the ball against Albion than Manchester City managed versus Watford. Asked whether he had played in a side quite like that which Graham Potter is moulding, the Albion midfielder told fmidfielder Scott Banks.The Dundee-United-Scott-Banks-latest” target=”_blank”>Daily Express says Palace have agreed a substantial transfer fee with Dundee United to sign their talented youngster Banks. Sources close to the Premier League side have conrom the .

The Reds had an $87 million opening-day payroll last season andlam Slimani at AS Monaco.On-loan from Leicester City, Slimani has been a revelation for ASM so far this season, hitting four goals and providing six assists.”Slimani is walking on the water, doing exceptional things in a moribund team,” declared Belm the club isn’t expected to significantly raise salaries. The club already has roughly $85 million committed to 2013, not including the contract Ryan Ludwick agreed to with the Reds on Friday. As Jocketty said, Bourn “would have to really fall” to end up in Cincinnati.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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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.