The overhaul of the big-league club isn’t finished, of course.
Lefty starter Jose Quintana is still available for the right price, as are third baseman Todd Frazier, closer David Robertson, outfielder Melky Cabrera, starters James Shields, Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez and pretty much anyone in the bullpen. Only Quintana will bring back elite prospects the way Sale and Eaton did, but if GM Rick Hahn plays this correctly — and he did a masterful job with those first two deals — the White Sox should be set up for years to come.
But that’s a topic for another column. For now, let’s take a look at the big four on the mound for Charlotte.
The race to sign starting pitcher Tyson Ross has apparently come to a conclusion.
MLB.com reported Friday that Ross and the Rangers have agreed to a one-year deal. There is no word on the amount, and the Rangers have not yet confirmed the deal.
Ross made just one start last season, allowing seven earned runs in 5 1/3 innings before missing the rest of the season with neck and shoulder injuries.
Game Kids Cleveland Browns Jersey Despite undergoing surgery last fall, Ross is expected to be healthy enough to return for spring training. He will likely be eased back before joining the Rangers’ bullpen.
Authentic Dwight Lowery Jersey Ross was great from 2013-15. He averaged a 3.07 ERA during that time with 526 strikeouts in 516 2/3 innings. Though he has never had a winning season — mainly because he has pitched for the Padres and Athletics — he is still young enough to be an upside No. 3 pitcher.
Agents thus far have been able to negotiate fully-guaranteed contracts for all of the top 20 picks in the draft. But after No. 20, the fourth-year guarantees begin to slide, typically with the 27th pick being the first position to get no fourth-year salary guarantee.
While most first-rounders do not get released, a few have failed to collect that fourth-year salary because of the lack of a guarantee.
Blaine Gabbert, who lost his 49ers starting job to Kaepernick after five games last season, reportedly was contacted by the Cardinals to be a backup. (UPDATE: Arizona signed Gabbert Wednesday.)
Jay Cutler, also a free-agent quarterback attracting scant interest, retired to go into broadcasting, following Tony Romo’s recent path.
Mike Glennon, recently given $18.5 million guaranteed to start for the Bears, was reduced to a placeholder when the Bears traded up to pick quarterback Mitchell Trubisky second overall in the draft.
Riley Cooper, out of football last season and known best for getting caught on video screaming racial slurs at a 2013 concert, and for being forgiven by his Eagles team and later receiving a contract extension was invited to and participated in the Buccaneers’ rookie minicamp last weekend.
Hyundai filmed Howard and fellow prospects Mike Williams and Haason Reddick as part of its “Rolling with the Rookies” promotion. Howard worked with cleat designer Marcus Rivero to design custom cleats and a vehicle for a Hyundai Santa Fe. It’s quite an experience for Howard, who enjoyed that experience. “It was very small and I didn’t think I would get recruiting from there,” Howard said. “I stayed focused and had a chance to go to Alabama, of course, had a career there and now I’m getting to the NFL. It’s just awesome, coming from the country, small school and to make it big. That’s kind of my story.”
Grant DePorter paid $35,000 for the cleats Kris Bryant wore during the final out of the Cubs’ historic win in Game 7 of the World Series.
Sensing divine intervention in the Cubs’ first world championship since 1908, the Cubs fan and memorabilia collector studied the cleats.
And at 10,800 times magnification, he spied the face of Harry Caray, the beloved longtime Cubs announcer who died in 1998.
It’s not the first time this week the stagnant Pirates offense was nearly no-hit. On Tuesday, Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning in a win over Pittsburgh, which sits at the bottom of the NL Central.
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Dallas Keuchel struck out nine Yankees batters over six innings of work, allowing one unearned run on five hits and lowering his ERA to 1.69. Keuchel moved to 6-0 in the 3-2 win and appears to be returning to his 2015 Cy Young form as Houston improved to an MLB-best 24-11.
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Fellow southpaw Jason Vargas pitched seven strong innings of three-hit ball in the Royals’ 6-0 win over the Rays. The comeback of the year candidate is now 5-1 with a 1.01 ERA.
The Dodgers activated pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu from the 10-day disabled list (hip) for Thursday’s start against the Rockies in Coors Field, but the left-handed pitcher looked far from 100 percent. Ryu allowed 10 runs (five earned) with six walks and a balk as he struggled to make it through four innings of work.
Mets (16-17) at Brewers (18-17), 8:10 p.m. ET — Matt Harvey (2-2, 5.14 ERA) makes his first start for the Mets since being suspended for a violation of team rules. Harvey is 0-2 with a 11.17 ERA in his last two starts and could be in danger of being sent down to the minors should another poor performance come against the Brewers.
Maybe two years away from football was just what Marshawn Lynch needed to get re-energized.
A day after Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said he sees “authentic passion” from Lynch, who came out of retirement to join his hometown team, Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie said the 31-year-old Lynch has plenty left in the tank.
“I came here to walk the stage and get my hat,” King told NFL Network. “It was disappointing (Thursday) night. I wouldn’t have come here (Thursday) night if I didn’t think I was going to get picked.”
“I am so excited for this opportunity.”
The Packers, who have made the playoffs eight straight seasons, needed defensive help after ranking 31st in pass defense last season. King would also help the Packers overcome the loss of defensive back Micah Hyde in free agency and may even be an upgrade over Hyde.
King is a long corner at 6-3, 200 pounds who can line up on an island, slide inside over the slot as a nickel corner or even play safety if the Packer need him to. He was a three-year starter at Washington and can give the Packers some flexibility.
Ogden thought he had become a statistic. A notorious Sports Illustrated study in 2009 claimed that 78 percent of NFL players went broke within two years of their retirement, while the consensus failure rate for business start-ups is between 80 and 90 percent.
These are all tales Ogden tells in his speeches — he calls them his “war wounds” — honed and refined through the trial-and-error of someone who had never spoken much in public, nor had the desire. Above all, telling about a colossal failure was not anything he was fond of. But, he said, “That’s exactly what makes the story so powerful and so effective.”
After three seasons of excessive turnovers (63) and an 11-34 starting record with Bortles, it wouldn’t have come as a shock if new Jaguars football czar Tom Coughlin sought a different franchise quarterback. Bortles’ standing came into further question when Clemson’s Deshaun Watson took a pre-draft visit to Florida’s First Coast. But rather than Coughlin choosing Watson as his replacement, Bortles was given a boost in the backfield when Jacksonville selected LSU’s Leonard Fournette at No. 4. Now complemented by a bell-cow running back the Jaguars have lacked since Maurice Jones-Drew’s heyday, Bortles has no excuses if improvement isn’t shown in 2017.
Jay Cutler’s debut as part of Fox’s NFL broadcast team with play-by-play announcer Kevin Burkhardt and analyst Charles Davis will come at the network’s first chance to break the former NFL quarterback into his new media role.
Limited Youth Derrick Coleman Jersey And it will come during a Chicago Bears game.
Burkhardt, speaking on Mad Dog Sports Radio on Friday hours after Fox announced Cutler would be joining the broadcast team, said the first game the new trio will work is the Bears-Titans game in Week 3 of the 2017 NFL preseason.
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The broadcast of the game, a 1 p.m. ET kickoff on Sunday, Aug. 27, is the network’s first national TV slot of the year. It’s the first leg of a Fox doubleheader, ahead of the Bengals-Redskins game at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Limited Youth Kirk Cousins Jersey Wade has been a net negative for Chicago this season, it feels like. He may be the third best shooting guard in NBA history, but Wade’s 18 points on 43 percent shooting showed clear signs of decline this year. In fact, when the Bulls burst back into the postseason after they had fallen to 34-39, Wade was out with an elbow injury. He only returned in the second-to-last game, and moved Paul Zipser back to the bench — even though Zipser’s shooting might actually make him fit better in the starting-five.
Before Howard joined Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide, he had dreams of following in Cam Newton’s footsteps at Auburn, despite the fact that the rest of his family rooted for Alabama.
When Auburn won the national championship and the newspaper clipping came out … he hung it on his door,Howard’s mother, Lamesa Howard, said. And so we had to walk by it all the time and look at those Auburn pictures hanging up there.
He was motivated by the play of Newton who once inspired a Superman celebration by Howard. But the welcoming environment of Alabama convinced him that Tuscaloosa was the place for him.
Elite Mens Peja Stojakovic Jersey Houston’s promotion is likely an attempt to fill the stands early. The Toyota Center has seen late arriving crowds due to traffic, and the lively downtown crowds probably contribute to the delay in arrival for fans traveling late from the suburbs.
The Rockets’ offer applies to hot dogs and nachos, as well as soft drinks from 6:30 p.m. ET to tip-off at 8:10 p.m. ET. It also applies to beers, which is a great promotional value for the fans — because who the hell turns down anything for a dollar, let alone beer — but has a history of being an awful idea in hindsight.
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Authentic Ted Larsen Jersey The Raptors are facing the same problem the entire Eastern Conference has been facing the past six years. To be successful in the playoffs, you have to beat LeBron James. And that turns out to be pretty hard to do.
In Game 1 of this series, on 14th year in the league, LeBron looked as good as ever. He dropped 35 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists with a smile on his face the entire time. Kyrie Irving also helped out scoring 24 points and dishing out 10 assists. LeBron James played 41 minutes in Game 1 which would be concerning, but the Cavaliers had an entire week of rest before starting Round 2. While some teams may view it as rust, the Cavaliers see it as an opportunity.
He was visibly uncomfortable backing the ball into the paint, and in his pursuit to establish position, had the ball knocked out of his hands a number of times.
His shots were often spent fading from the hoop, and he failed to establish any sort of rhythm. That led him to pass up a number of shots he usually takes, which made the Rockets’ job that much easier.
(note Aldridge’s inability to keep Harden in front of him on the other end)
Houston spent the night helping on both Leonard and Aldridge while abandoning the Spurs’ weak shooters. It worked, and Houston consistently turned strong defensive possessions into easy fastbreaks going the other way.
This week’s winner is the Phoenix Suns. That’s great, but … also a little boring. So, by the power vested in me by SB Nation, we’re going to have a mega trade at the top of the draft.
The Phoenix Suns send the No. 1 pick to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for Jimmy Butler. The Suns can include either Brandon Knight or Tyson Chandler to make the salaries match. Fans of both teams will probably hate it. That’s how you know it’s a good trade.
Minnesota Duluth sophomore defenseman Neal Pionk has officially signed with the New York Rangers, ending his collegiate eligibility.
Pionk was one of the top free agents available in the NCAA this past season. After Minnesota Duluth’s run to the national title game, Pionk announced that he would be turning pro this summer. He fielded multiple offers with Chicago and Los Angeles reportedly making his cut as finalists along with the Rangers.
We ranked Pionk as the 38th-best NHL prospect in the NCAA this past season, writing:
In his sophomore season, the Duluth-area native has developed into the top defenseman for the Bulldogs, who have spent much of the season as one of the top teams in the country.
Pionk is a very good two-way defenseman thanks to his excellent skating ability and agility. He moves the puck up the ice reliably thanks to an ability to spin his way out of traffic and is an excellent outlet passer. His quickness also gives him the confidence to hold the line in the offensive zone, rather than giving up ice to give himself more cushion defensively.
He’s just an okay defender one-on-one against the rush, but has an above average amount of toughness and physicality for a guy that will classify as a smaller defenseman at the next level.
Terms of Pionk’s contract were not disclosed. His contract will begin with the 2017-2018 season. The moves signaled a complete departure from the successful smash-mouth style that got the Pacers so far. That’s Bird prerogative and it’s fair to wonder if that style had run its course. The problem is that the Pacers didn’t do much else to help George accomplish this team-wide transition. They signed an aging Monta Ellis, Chase Budinger, and Jordan Hill, none of which moved the needle. Only Ellis remains, and he was benched earlier this season.
The New England Patriots won their fifth Super Bowl in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era. Outside of their football success, the pair have recently been under a microscope for their involvement with President Donald Trump, along with owner Robert Kraft.
Many athletes across sports have been outspoken against Trump. Since the Patriots won the Super Bowl and will be visiting the White House, some players have spoken out and said that they won’t be attending because of Trump.
Here is a complete timeline of Patriots players saying that they won’t attend the White House celebration.
The Giants, Eli Manning, team equipment manager Joe Skiba, Steiner Sports, and others, including team co-owner and CEO John Mara, are being sued for the allegedly fake memorabilia.
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The lawsuit claims that Barry Barone, who has been the team’s dry cleaner since 1982, used his store to beat up jerseys and other items for locker room manager Ed Wagner Jr. so they would look authentic.
Authentic Mens Lavelle Hawkins Jersey McKinley is one of the draft’s fastest pass rushers, a 4-3 defensive end who has the talent to transition to 3-4 linebacker with little concern. His straight-line speed alone is enough to make him a threat on the edge, where he leans into offensive tackles to turn the corner and disrupt quarterbacks. His quick-twitch muscles give him the speed to blast through blockers with his first step and close quickly on scrambling quarterbacks when they break outside the pocket.
McKinley can make an impact from either side of the defensive set, where he uses a strong upper body to blast blockers’ hands away. He fights off linemen well and continually churns toward the ball, even if that gets unorthodox at times.
Womens Connor Cook Jersey If the Detroit Lions can find a good defensive lineman in the first round of the 2017 NFL draft, that opens them up to a number of possibilities in later rounds. In the first round of the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft, Jeremy Reisman of Pride of Detroit went defensive line with Michigan’s Taco Charlton.
That leaves him at pick No. 53 with options. He could take a wide receiver, running back, or a cornerback. Or, he could double down at pass rusher.
Womens Anthony Gose Jersey Reisman: Of the six linebackers that logged starts for the Detroit Lions in 2016, one was cut, one was traded, and a third was not re-signed. That leaves Tahir Whitehead, who graded out as PFF’s second-worst linebacker in 2016, fifth-round rookie Antwione Williams, and career journeyman Thurston Armbrister as their three capable linebackers. Detroit’s current linebacker corps could be the worst in the league.
More than just high picks, most of these players have turned out to be good ones. Hood didn’t get a second Steelers contract and has been a journeyman for a few years, but he’s had a decent NFL run. Smith was great for a time, before non-football problems derailed his career. Richardson’s made a Pro Bowl. Ealy was a key player on a Super Bowl participant two seasons ago. Ray just had eight sacks as an NFL sophomore.
Mizzou’s got work to do to get back to where it was as a college football team near the end of Gary Pinkel’s tenure in Columbia. But #DLINEZOU is very much a thing, and the program and its fans should feel proud of that. It’s hard to churn out this many quality defensive linemen with such consistency over so many years.