MLB trade rumors: Justin Verlander could still be option for contenders such as Astros, Yankees

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Acquiring the Tigers’ Justin Verlander at the trade deadline isn’t going to be easy for a couple of reasons. For one, the Tigers aren’t itching to trade their ace, and also the Tigers want a big return for a player that hasn’t been at his best and has a big contract to be paid out in coming seasons.

Elite Womens Patrick Marleau Jersey Teams aren’t jumping on the bandwagon to trade for that kind of baggage, but the possibility of adding an ace at the deadline is always an option for teams and considering the fact Verlander is a former Cy Young winner and the 2016 runner-up for the award, teams are going to inquire if he’s available.

Right now the consensus is Verlander will not move, but several pitching-hungry teams, including the Yankees, Astros, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Dodgers and Nationals, are looking for help on the mound. And the Tigers know that. That’s why they reportedly have not shut down discussions on their ace, according to MLB.com.

Now we can’t look at every single pitch Judge has seen this year in one day, so it’s hard to come up with a complete consensus on how teams are pitching to the MVP candidate, but we can look at all of his home runs to see the types of pitches he is hitting particularly hard. So that’s what we did and this is what we came up with.

Judge has hit home runs on 11 off-speed pitches this season. And on review of those 11 home runs, six came on a hanger or spinner, while four came when a pitcher missed a spot.

NBA free agency: For Sixers, J.J. Redick is worth every cent of $23 million contract

The 76ers gave themselves over $40 million in cap space to work with this offseason when they parted ways with Gerald Henderson and his $9 million option for next season. However, with their core of Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons and Markelle Fultz still being on team-friendly contracts, they aren’t feeling the same pressure as many other NBA teams this summer to make significant upgrades across the board.

Mike Bibby Youth Jersey One of those spots has gone to former Lakers guard Nick Young, who signed a one-year contract with the Warriors for $5.2 million. According to his agent, Mark Bartelstein, Durant, Green and Steve Kerr all met with Young to tell him how much they wanted him in Golden State, which makes sense assuming they get the Young of last season when he averaged 13.2 points per game on 43.0 percent shooting from the field. In the two seasons before that, Young averaged an underwhelming 9.9 points per game on 35.4 shooting from the field.
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While we wait for the dingers to commence, did you know that the Home Run Derby could’ve been associated with TBS all these years and not ESPN? Back in 1988, TBS was set to broadcast the show from Cincinnati, but rain canceled the whole thing. Before that, the Derby had not been televised. TBS never got another chance and ESPN took over. Read more about that wacky situation here。

Perhaps the most anticipated Home Run Derby in history gets underway in about 10 minutes, with Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins looking to defend his crown against a powerful slate of challengers — most notably the mighty 16-foot-tall Aaron Judge of the Yankees.

I’ll keep you updated throughout the night on the happenings in Miami, offering observations, commentary, trivia and whatever else comes to mind. I wrote earlier today about how the Home Run Derby usually fails to hold my interest. We’ll see whether tonight provides a different story.

Chris Bosh thanks Miami in goodbye letter after being waived by Heat

Chris Bosh is bidding his final farewell to Miami.
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In a goodbye letter to the city posted on his website Sunday, the free-agent forward thanked fans for years of loyalty. Bosh was waived by the Heat on Tuesday.

Wow, what a ride! I’ve been reflecting on my time in this great city and want to thank you for being a constant during a period of change in my life, Bosh wrote. I’ve experienced a few finals appearances, a couple of championships, several weddings (including my own), the birth of four kids, bonding with an entire community and a ton of ups and downs along the way.
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The Nets will also receive a lottery-protected 2018 first-round draft pick and a second-round pick in exchange for taking on the remainder of Carroll’s deal. Additionally, center Justin Hamilton goes from Brooklyn to Toronto.

The Nets, evidently, are willing to take on large contracts as they look to bolster their roster. Earlier this offseason, Brooklyn accepted center Timofey Mozgov’s $46 million burden from the Lakers in a deal that also netted them second-year guard D’Angelo Russell. Since the Celtics own the rights to Brooklyn’s first-round pick next season, finishing at the bottom of the standings again does nothing to incentivize the Nets.

The Carroll-to-Brooklyn deal will not be finalized until the Wizards officially match the Nets’ $106 million offer sheet for Otto Porter, as the Nets don’t yet have the salary-cap space to fit Carroll, ESPN reports. The Wizards, according to the report, plan to slow play the results of Porter’s physical to hold up free-agency maneuvering by the Nets and Raptors, two of their Eastern Conference rivals.

Cleveland looks like a team that is ripe for the plucking

If a team can beat the Cavs in the East, it’s the Raptors. They have the size, the strategy, the experience and the ability to create mismatches that other teams in the conference can’t duplicate. Cleveland looks like a team that is ripe for the plucking, but the Cavaliers still have James, and when it comes to taking him out, Toronto is not quite up to that job. Cavaliers in 6.

But the Raptors struggled against the Bucks’ long-limbed, pack-the-paint defense, which was effective at neutralizing the play. DeRozan averaged 10.7 points per game out of the pick-and-roll during the season, but that dropped by about three points per game against Milwaukee. Lowry, who averaged 8.5 points in the regular season, saw a comparable drop. For them, facing a Cleveland defense that has shown no progress in stopping the play will be a godsend.

For Green, checking Harden won’t be easy. Harden scored 33.2 points per game against OKC, and attacked the rim relentlessly, averaging 14.6 free throws per game. He’ll surely force Green and perhaps other Spurs into foul trouble. But, though Green will get the bulk of the minutes on Harden, he will only have to guard him in spurts, and when crunch time comes, it’s a safe bet that Leonard will wave Green off and take Harden himself. Expect the Spurs to trap Harden and get the ball out of his hands. They typically do a nice job of forcing the ball out of Harden’s hands and putting the onus on his teammates to make shots.

50.0. That’s the scoring the Rockets got off their bench in the series against the Thunder, and their ability to keep that level of work going against the Spurs will be critical to any hopes of an upset. Houston had one of the most productive benches in the league during the regular season, averaging 39.5 points from their reserves (fifth in the league). But San Antonio was right behind, ranking sixth with 38.7 points. As good as these teams’ stars are, the bench units could decide this series.
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She has her opinion of what went wrong in New York.

Somebody that decided to start a podcast after we did wanted to comment on the quality of teams that we’re playing. Which I think is just not very nice because obviously we know what Portland and Utah have accomplished this year, or just in general. I can imagine with [Jusuf] Nurkic being out obviously Portland was at full strength. With George Hill being out, obviously Utah was at full strength. Mike Conley being out a couple years ago: full strength. Cavs not having Kevin [Love] or Kyrie [Irving] at full strength.
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So at the end of the day to criticize what other people are doing I think it’s just best that you take care of whatever’s in front of you. But you should never criticize what other people are doing.

Laurel keeps shaking her head. She has her opinion of what went wrong in New York. And Denver. And Phoenix. And Los Angeles. And if it doesn’t work here, I’ll just walk away, Mike jokes. That’s what I always do. Laurel doesn’t like this answer, even if it’s clearly meant to agitate her.

I’ve got a motto, he says. When the posse’s chasing you out of town, you just act like you’re the head of a parade.
This information had been speculated about, but never really confirmed by anyone involved. Most assumed it was the case, as it fits with Anthony’s perceived personality.

Game Youth Ben Roethlisberger Jersey While things didn’t end well in New York (or some of D’Antoni’s other homes), he’s clearly found a working formula in Houston. Maybe with enough time, and some support, he could have worked out in other places, but D’Antoni is likely happy with where he is now.

Kawhi Leonard cleared to play in Game 1 versus Warriors

Mens Lamarr Houston Jersey It had been reported that Kawhi Leonard was likely to play in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals on Sunday, and a definitive answer came Saturday afternoon from Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

Mens Morgan Cox Jersey Leonard was cleared to play by the Spurs’ medical staff Saturday and will be in the starting lineup in Game 1, according to the San Antonio Express News.

The Spurs need Leonard for this series, as the Warriors have one of the best offensive teams in the NBA in recent memory.

But even though Popovich can scheme for any opposing team, he has a simple strategy for stopping Golden State starting Sunday.

Kerr, who hasn’t coached since the opening round of the playoffs, returned to practice Saturday and spoke with assistant coach Mike Brown afterward. In an effort to ramp up his activity in hopes of a return, Kerr also attended coaches meetings the past few days. For the time being, he still remains out indefinitely after recently undergoing a spinal cord leak procedure on his back.

Kerr had previously missed the first 43 games of the 2015-16 season due complications from a pair of back surgeries in the summer of 2015. The team had been optimistic he could return at some point during the playoffs, though the 51-year-old coach admitted he won’t be back until he feels like he can stay for good.

Despite Kerr’s absence, the team is getting along just fine without him as Brown handles the coaching duties. Golden State is 8-0 in the playoffs, the longest winning streak in a single postseason in franchise history, after completing consecutive sweeps of the Trail Blazers and Jazz in the first two rounds.

Astros rally to beat Yankees despite ongoing pitching problems

Yulieski Gurriel bailed out Will Harris. The former Cuban National Team member homered and tallied a two-run double that lifted the Astros a 7-6 win over the Yankees. Had it not been for Harris giving up a grand slam to Didi Gregorius in the top of the sixth inning, the Astros would not have needed the dramatics.

In 2003, Panthers rookie defensive tackle Kindal Moorehead woke up for the first day of training camp with what he thought was a mosquito bite on his arm. After four days of swelling and pain, Moorehead was sent back to Charlotte from the team’s camp in Spartanburg, S.C., to get it checked out.

Doctors believed Moorehead was bitten by a spider. He returned to the team after four days in the hospital, where he was given antibiotics and kept on intravenous fluids.

I was just looking at it like a regular bug bite, Moorehead told the Associated Press. But then my arm kept swelling up. When I went to the hospital and they said they would have to keep me for a few days, then I started to get worried about it. Things like that happen that you have no control over.
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Limited Womens Eli Apple Jersey Chicago literally has more outside linebackers than it knows what to do with, which leads some to believe Lamarr Houston, a former 4-3 defensive end, might not stick on the roster. With Pernell McPhee, Leonard Floyd, Willie Young, Sam Acho and Dan Skuta, the Bears may have the most talented collective group of 3-4 edge rushers in the league.

Big things are expected out of McPhee and Floyd, specifically. New outside linebackers coach Brandon Staley already has praised McPhee, and Fangio has set the bar high for a healthy Floyd in 2017.

Heat display banners of Gordon Hayward in Miami jersey at American Airlines Arena

The Heat get the first shot at impressing All-Star forward Gordon Hayward in free agency in what appears to be a three-team race among Miami, Utah and Boston.

Miami is putting the full-court press on Hayward, going as far as photoshopping him in a Heat jersey in decorative banners outside American Airlines Arena.

Saturday marked not only the official start of free agency, but also the beginning of the NBA Summer League in Orlando. The Heat are prioritizing the former, as assistant coaches Chris Quinn and Juwan Howard are in Miami on “official team business,” according to the Miami Herald — which is thinly veiled code for the team’s meeting with Hayward.

At first glance, sinking out of the top 10 seems harsh for a GM who had the team in the Super Bowl the previous year. But the fiasco of letting Josh Norman go and their inability to adequately replace him weighed heavily in the Panthers’ slide. This draft, led by Christian McCaffrey, and free-agency period, could reverse that fast, but the NFC South is much tougher now than it was in the Super Bowl year.

The poster boy for circumstances out of a team’s control affecting a team and its big decision-maker. Teddy Bridgewater’s blown-up knee created a domino effect of trading a first-round pick for Sam Bradford, replacing their offensive coordinator and much of the staff, making a hard choice about (not) extending Bridgewater and cutting ties with Adrian Peterson likely earlier than planned. Spielman is up for it, but this will be another challenging year.browns_032

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Blue Jays extend new fad by naming Jose Bautista new leadoff hitter

The prototypical leadoff hitter is becoming extinct in Major League Baseball.

Akiem Hicks Elite Jersey Managers used to favor speed, on-base percentage and patience at the top of their batting order — traits usually associated with a leadoff hitter. Now, those attributes are starting to be replaced by struggling power hitters.
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The Blue Jays are the latest team to make a questionable move at the leadoff spot. Jose Bautista is batting first in the lineup Wednesday night, and MLB.com reports he is there to stay.

Nobody expected Whaley to be kept, going back to when Pegula bought the team three years ago, yet Pegula let the scouting, evaluating and drafting take place — with varying reports of who was making the final call and who had the most pull — before booting Whaley out. And all of this while Whaley was hindered more by Ryan’s coaching and by injuries far more than any real problem with his performance.

Didn’t matter. And the timing clearly didn’t matter. Whaley was out, extremely late for him to find a place with a new team. With him, Dorsey and McCloughan, teams clearly were of no mind to do their former team-builders and major contributors any favors.

Grigson was freed early enough to get a job … with the Browns, to waves of ridicule, including from his own former players. He is the only entity in this bunch whom the timing has helped.

So there are some positives. Lynch might know what he’s doing after all, and we know Shanahan will do what he can to maximize what talent they do have. But things won’t be pretty in the short term.

Christian McCaffrey’s mission with Panthers is simple: ‘Ball out’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After Panthers first-round draft pick Christian McCaffrey received his first ever handoff from Cam Newton at minicamp on Thursday, he took his second after practice during a post-minicamp media session.

Game Mens Gordie Howe Jersey Pham became the first player in Cardinals history, and just the 14th MLB player all time, to hit two home runs and complete two outfield assists in the same game.

Rockies starting pitcher Jeff Hoffman had been dealing since being called up to the big leagues, but he crashed back down to earth Wednesday in a 16-5 loss against the Diamondbacks. Hoffman gave up nine earned runs — all in the fourth inning — while pitching just 3 2/3 innings.

The Diamondbacks scored 10 runs in the fourth inning, which was a franchise-high on the road. Hoffman may spend some time in the minors after this brutal start.

Angels (37-38) at Yankees (39-30), 7:05 p.m. ET — New York broke its seven-game losing streak Wednesday with an 8-4 win against the Angels. The Yankees will try to continue its momentum by sending breakout ace Luis Severino (5-2, 2.99) to the mound to face off against Jesse Chavez (5-7, 4.85 ERA).

That being said, I do think we have some good depth and someone is going to step up and take that job over.

Authentic Youth Milan Lucic Jersey Ramczyk is the frontrunner with Armstead projected to have a four-to-six month recovery period. Selected at No. 32 overall in last April’s draft, Ramczyk started at left tackle during his 2016 junior season at Wisconsin. He was converted to right tackle by New Orleans to become Strief’s understudy and eventual replacement.