Bryce Harper, Nationals avoid arbitration with $13.625M deal

Bryce Harper and the Nationals avoided arbitration, the team announced Friday, with multiple reports saying the four-time All-Star agreed to a $13.625 million deal for 2017.

Harper, 24, is coming off a down 2016 season in which he reportedly struggled with a shoulder injury. Still, his new contract represents an $8.625 million raise.

Harper hit .243/.373/.441 with 24 homers and 86 RBIs in 2016, a season after he was a unanimous choice as the National League MVP after a 2015 season in which he batted .330/.460/.639 with 42 homers and 99 RBIs.

A four-time All-Star in five MLB seasons, and the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year, Harper is under contract through the 2018 season. He reportedly will be seeking a $400 million deal if he hits free agency, which Cheap Full Dye Softball Jerseys most clients of his agent, Scott Boras, do in order to maximize their contracts.

Harper already has been the focus of rumors that he eventually will end up with Yankees, where his left-handed swing is tailor-made for the team’s stadium. Harper has 121 home runs in five MLB seasons.

Just what exactly are the Diamondbacks? I’m not sure anyone could have seen the mediocrity that bound the DBacks in 2016. Trading Dansby Swanson is still a head-scratching move, and Shelby Miller’s ineffectiveness was way worse than what many could have projected. But trading for Taijuan Walker gives the Diamondbacks another good, young arm in the rotation, and should the pitching hold up, Arizona could rebound in 2017.

Pittsburgh Penguins injury updates, and AHL reinforcements are coming

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins season ended last night (recap here) in Game 5 of a 5 game first round season.

What does this mean for the NHL team? Well, the return of the “black aces”, as WB/S coach Clark Donatelli confirmed the below players are getting called up:

These guys usually practice before the regular team does and stays a little off to themselves, but are still emergency reserves in case of extreme injury. The Penguins “regular” healthy scratches last game of Scott Wilson, Carter Rowney and Chad Ruhwedel figure to be the main reserves, along with current backup Tristan Jarry.

Speaking of Jarry, how much longer will he be the backup? We’ve finally got some news on Matt Murray and it’s actually a positive update:

Coach Sullivan on Murray’s status: “Matt skated this morning on his own with no equipment. The next step for him is to get in full gear.”

After the Yankees put down the Red Sox on the strength of a Maddux from Detroit Tigers Cheap Jerseys Masahiro Tanaka on Thursday night, they welcomed the Orioles into Yankee Stadium for what figured to be a hotly contested weekend series between two divisional rivals. However, the Orioles appeared to be more than ready to take the game to the Yankees as they got out to a 9-1 lead after the top of the sixth inning was done. This included a massive dinger from Manny Machado and a grand slam from Mark Trumbo that seemed like the exclamation point for the end of a statement win for Baltimore.

Best available undrafted free agents, 2017 NFL draft: biggest UDFA names

The NFL draft is over, which means the rush to sign undrafted free agents is on. This year’s draft featured 253 picks, starting with Myles Garrett to the Browns on Thursday and ending with Chad Kelly to the Broncos on Sunday.

Here’s a running tracker of UDFA signings.

It’s hard to make a mark in the NFL as an undrafted player, but a couple of players pull it off every year. Solid contributors are there for the finding, and the teams that find them will get an excellent value reward whether it’s on offense, defense, or special teams. UDFAs are on cheap, short-term contracts, but many can play.

But when the Pegulas fired Ryan, they kept Whaley. And when they hired McDermott, they kept Whaley.

“Both of them, and especially Kim, are into branding,’’ the Bills executive said. “She is really caught up into that. And when you think branding more than you think pure football sense and what works and what doesn’t and the type of clarity you need in an organization, you’re toast. I think they have regret about a lot of the way they’ve handled things since becoming owners. But I don’t think they knew any better then or now.’’

Whaley’s out. The Bills scouting staff is out. Ryan is gone. Marrone is long gone.

The Pegulas should let McDermott pick his own GM and give both total juice even though McDermott is a first-time NFL head coach. Because these first-time NFL owners are the source of NFL Cheap Jerseys Nike the Raiders Cheap Jerseys Bills dysfunction. It originates with the choices they have made and the best chance for resolution is for them to make fewer of them.

Rajon Rondo is out for Game 5 against Celtics

Rajon Rondo’s injured thumb will keep him out of the Chicago Bulls’ Game 5 matchup against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday, according to The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson. Head coach Fred Hoiberg didn’t shut the door on a possible return in the near future, meaning Game 6 or 7, but Rondo wasn’t very optimistic about those odds.

Rondo on his thumb: “It’s still broke.” Unclear if he’ll be able to play in Game 6.

How the Celtics hide Isaiah Thomas on defense.

I wrote an appreciation of those who volunteer to be put on posters by oncoming dunkers, inspired by Mike Muscala’s face.

Dwyane Wade shared that the Bulls didn’t have hot water in their locker room in Boston the other night. Brandon Jennings accuses the Celtics of doing that purposely. My take: who wants a hot shower after lots of physical activity? Though I suppose for bench guys who don’t play much …

Oh, just Kevin Durant in the San Francisco Giants’ clubhouse with a plate of cupcakes. Nothing to see here.

Godwin will likely find success in the NFL in large part thanks to his willingness to learn. Going into an NFL locker room as a rookie can be intimidating, but the vets are much more likely to take care of someone who is humble and ready to learn, rather than someone who thinks they will be the star of the Dallas Cowboys Cheap Jerseys team from day one.

The receiver’s humility and willingness to put in the hard work needed to succeed was something he tried selling teams at the 2017 NFL Scouting Combine.

“I take a lot of pride in my work ethic. If they draft me, they’re going to get a guy who’s going to come in and work hard every day,” Godwin said.

Kawhi Leonard is the best player in the NBA right now, says Gregg Popovich

After his superstar forward dominated the Memphis Grizzlies through all six games of their first-round playoff series, San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich heaped the highest of praise onto Kawhi Leonard:

Carlson is too late. The puck disappears under Rust. Carlson drops back, hoping, praying for it to slip free again. At this point you, the impartial viewer, have sunk to your knees with slumped shoulders and tears streaming down your face.

Carlson does end up with the puck again, but by now you know better than to hope. Only when your spirit is broken will the Sports Gods, in all of their cruelty, give you the scoring chance you so desired.

The Thunder badly needed a win on Sunday but yet when it came down to it, they let the Rockets erase a second half deficit and come away with a win. This was Game 2 all of over again.

In all, the Thunder held a 14-point third-quarter lead. That advantage evaporated when Westbrook went to the bench. Oklahoma City outscored Houston by 14 points with its MVP front-runner on the floor. When he exited the game, the Rockets erased that lead wholly.

Or what if a player realizes that next year’s draft class at his position is way more Vip Cheap Jerseys loaded and that his only chance of getting drafted is to leave right now?

Some players need liquid income to help their families.

Auburn running back Peyton Barber entered early to provide Where To Buy Cheap Jerseys for his homeless mother. He went undrafted but now has a UDFA contract with the Buccaneers and a chance to make a lasting pro career.

Can New York stop Ottawa from taking a 3-0 lead?

The Senators have a real chance to take a commanding 3-0 lead over the Rangers on Tuesday. However, New York is back in Madison Square Garden for the next two games and will look to even the series.

Game 2 ended in a barnburner after Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s four-goal evening ended with the double overtime winner. The Senators scored three times in the third period, but were almost out of it when the Rangers scored three in the second.

After a first round where Craig Anderson and Henrik Lundqvist helped their teams to the semifinals, Game 2 blew the doors off both netminders. Quite the fun, surprising series this has turned out to be.

But damn, in Game 3 against Milwaukee, they didn’t look it. Let Raptors HQ’s Daniel Reynolds take it from here.

In the fourth quarter of the Raptors soul-crushing Game 3, 104-77 loss to the Bucks, TSN broadcaster Jack Armstrong, having already veered from mystified to angry and back again, turned philosophical. “Do the Raptors believe they can beat the Bucks?” he asked, as the Raps clanged another jumper (I assume).

It was a difficult question to answer, coming as we watched Toronto’s squad get ripped apart in their every effort (or lack thereof) the entire night. The Raptors started slow (a 19-4 Bucks run closed the 1st quarter), couldn’t shoot (34 percent from the field), couldn’t stop anybody (Bucks shot 53 percent for the game), couldn’t find a lineup that worked, couldn’t finish at the rim, couldn’t hit threes (27%!), couldn’t hold onto the ball (15 turnovers), couldn’t meaningfully pass the ball (11 assists, to Milwaukee’s 29) — am I missing anything? The result felt like more than a loss. It felt like the kind of game that could Cheap NFL Jerseys China have a jovial TV personality questioning whether there would even be Raptors games to watch past Monday. Things got dark.

NFL undrafted free agency: How it works and why it’s better than being a late-round draft pick

The NFL draft might be the biggest event of the offseason, but there’s more going on here than just the players getting selected in the draft. As soon as Mr. Irrelevant’s name gets called on Saturday afternoon, NFL teams will move quickly to sign undrafted free agents (UDFAs), the players who didn’t make the cut in the draft but will get a chance to make an impact in training camp.

Many UDFAs will never amount to anything in the NFL, but a select few every year tend to break out and become valuable players for their teams. Thus, NFL teams embark on a feeding frenzy every year, with everybody trying to find the next Tony Romo or Wes Welker. It’s a fun period to be following in the news, even if it doesn’t have the glitz or glamour of the actual draft.

“McKinley is a relentless pursuer. He is a playmaker who is always closing on the ball. He is also determined to become one of the best at his craft. He still seems a bit raw and has great upside potential.” — Read More at Bruins Nation

McKinley’s background has given him a tremendous work ethic. Couple that with his Cheap Jerseys And Jordans physical gifts, and you’ve got a special player. The former Bruin is a bit undersized as a defensive end at 6’2 and 250 pounds, but moves like a freight train. His 4.59-second 40-yard dash at the Combine ranked third in his group (which is really second, as Haason Reddick is more linebacker than lineman). His long arms, low center of gravity, and Cheap College Basketball Jerseys ability to stop and start in a split second make him a valuable and malleable presence for the Falcons.