Who will be the Washington Nationals’ closer in 2017?

The Washington Nationals’ winter-long search for a closer has seen the team connected to elite relievers and reclamation projects alike.

But with pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training in two weeks, Dusty Baker is no closer to knowing who he’ll hand the ball to in the ninth inning in 2017.

After striking out on multiple high-profile options early in the offseason, the Nationals on Tuesday announced they have signed Joe Nathan, who turned 42 in November, to a minor-league contract. The veteran right-hander has 377 career saves, but after pitching in 11 major-league games over the past two seasons, he can’t be relied upon as anything more than a low-risk flyer for Washington heading into spring training.

How did the Nationals get here?

“I’m at a shoe store later that day after Chris Mortensen reported that and the guy fitting my shoe said, ‘I heard you demanded a trade.’ And I laughed and I thought, ‘I don’t know where that comes from’ because that just wasn’t the case,” Cousins said. “I just called them and asked where their perspective was and where they were coming from and I just wanted to communicate. And then somehow MLB Cheap Jerseys From China it can get twisted to where an employee of the store is using the word ‘demand’ but that’s certainly not the approach that I took.”

Mortensen never used the word “demand” in his tweet, but the way it was phrased made it sound like there some hostility between the owner and quarterback. Cousins’ tone in the podcast was positive, but he didn’t exactly commit to playing to the Redskins long-term.

Cousins said he’ll have an “open mind” about his future, and says if Washington wins a Super Bowl this season he expects to be signed to another franchise tag. It seems unlikely Washington would tag him a third time considering how much it would cost (upwards of $34 million), but Cousins seemed firm with his belief.

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the Angels could keep Revere for depth purposes and trade Kole Calhoun

Clay Matthews Jr. was a four-time Pro Bowl player during a 19-year NFL career, most of which the linebacker spent with the Cleveland Browns. Bruce Matthews spent his entire 19-year career with the Tennessee Titans franchise. He was a first-round pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1983 NFL Draft and the former USC offensive tackle was selected to 14 Pro Bowls.

Clay Matthews III followed in the footsteps of his father and uncle by playing college football at USC before the Packers selected him in the first round of the 2009 draft. Clay III has since been selected to six Pro Bowls and is the only member of the family to play for a Super Bowl winner, helping the Packers claim a championship in 2010.

Clay’s brother, Casey, was a fourth-round pick of the Eagles in 2011 and was with the Vikings in 2015. Another Clay Jr. son, Kyle, was a letter-winner as a safety on USC’s 2003 Cheap Vintage Jerseys national championship team.

Where Revere will fit with the Angels in the outfield is the question: Chances are, much like with Luis Valbuena, the Angels could move him for younger pieces should he play well. Revere is a career .285 hitter, and it’s hard to see 2015 as his last ride as an above-average offensive ballplayer, considering he hit just .215 with a .560 OPS in 2016. The .560 mark is almost 100 points lower than his career average.

Or, the Angels could keep Revere for depth purposes and trade Kole Calhoun, who re-signed with the Angels on an incredibly team-friendly deal: three years, $26 million. In either case, the move for Revere offers the team flexibility and depth, and should Revere perform to the back of his baseball card, the Angels might not have to worry about Glover and JGL in 2017.

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Five quotes: Yankees, Cubs set MLB record with 48 strikeouts in 18-inning marathon

The Yankees and Cubs broke the MLB record for combined strikeouts with 48 Sunday night in an 18-inning marathon New York won, 5-4, at Wrigley Field.

The game — the longest this season in terms of innings and time (6 hours, 5 minutes) — saw the Cubs strike out 27 times and the Yankees strike out 21 times. The MLB record was broken in the 17th inning when Yankees catcher Austin Romine became the game’s 44th strikeout, with Cubs reliever Pedro Strop on the mound.

That broke the previous record of 43 strikeouts in a 20-inning game between the Angels and A’s in 1971. The two teams added four more K’s before it was over.

Dumping him and his contract are now going to be a headache. But now it’s the Browns’ headache.

It was going to be a chore. It’s hard enough to imagine who would find it to their benefit to have him and his albatross of a guaranteed salary on their roster and, presumably, in their quarterback competition. To be fair, of course, Nick Foles just got a job Monday morning. The pickings at the most important position in the game remain inconceivably slim.

But Osweiler has to be in less demand today than he was before that report came out. Where the Browns are now — reportedly eager to trade him, but ready to cut him if they have to — is where the Texans might be today if word of that fight (if that’s what it was, and O’Brien Design Cheap Jerseys still says it wasn’t) had gotten out.

As a bonus, O’Brien’s authority as head coach is strengthened. Everybody denies that his job was ever in jeopardy at the end of last season, and whether it was or not, he stayed and the quarterback with whom he clashed is gone. Now, there’s room for a replacement who suits him better, who he’s more on board with (it was speculated almost immediately that Osweiler was not O’Brien’s preference), and who will be the final piece to the Texans’ Super Bowl contention puzzle.

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D-backs’ Zack Greinke flirts with history, gives Pirates second no-hit scare this week

Zack Greinke was six outs shy of recording the third no-hitter in Diamondbacks history Thursday against the Pirates.

The $206.5 million man for Arizona entered the seventh inning with 11 strikeouts and one walk on 90 pitches but allowed a solo homer to Gregory Polanco, who nearly went deep on the second pitch of the at-bat before crushing an 85 mph slider an estimated 382 feet to right field on Greinke’s 95th pitch of the night.

David Wiley, who runs the firm that put the dirt under the microscope, told the Chicago Tribune the bear head and the “C” “jumped out” at him. He had a little more trouble seeing Caray’s face, until DePorter explained.

“I’m looking at it and I’m thinking, ‘What does he mean by this?’,” Wiley told the Tribune. “It took me a minute to see what he was seeing in the image.”

DePorter would certainly recognize Caray’s image — he’s an owner in the Harry Caray restaurant chain.

“Definitely there’s a spiritual element to anything tied to the Cubs,” DePorter told the Tribune. “In my mind sports is a religion in Chicago. The pieces of memorabilia that I’ve been acquiring are like the holy relics of that religion. I’m definitely a believer.”

Another person who eyed the mysterious dirt, Michael Lantieri, also knows a thing or two about the Cubs. He’s the Oscar-winning special effects expert who back in 2004 destroyed the infamous “Bartman Ball” in a public event.

He says when he studied the dirt, he “had a little difficulty with the Harry. I had to stretch a little bit. The ‘C’ and the bear was clear as a bell. I was shocked.”

Divine images or not, the dirt and cleats are sure to spark Discount Yankee Jerseys conversation when they go on display at Harry Caray’s Tavern at Chicago’s Navy Pier before moving to the Chicago Sports Museum.

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Cubs-Rockies game postponed with Coors Field covered in blanket of hailstones

Rule 6.01(j) in the official MLB rule book states the following:

If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01. A “bona fide slide” for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner: (1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base; (2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot; (3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and (4) slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the Cheap New Zealand Warriors Jerseys purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
Lester’s right, to a certain extent.

The rule, while put in place to protect players, has left a certain amount of gray area up for interpretation. It certainly looks like Happ hit the dirt before the bag and did attempt to hold on.

Lester pitched a pretty good game, going 5 2/3s and giving up just three runs. The slide — and the loss — certainly puts a damper on Happ’s major-league debut after he hit a dinger for his first major-league knock.

Maybe Mother Nature thought the Cubs needed some extra rest.

After losing an 18-inning game to the Yankees Sunday night at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the Cubs traveled to Denver for a three-game series against the Rockies. There was not much for pregame warmups as a massive hail storm left Coors Field covered in a blanket of near golf-ball sized hailstones just hours before the scheduled 8:40 p.m. ET first pitch.

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Nearing full health, Tigers ready to pounce in AL Central

The Tigers’ World Series window always came with an expiration date, but there still may be hope for one more run as a number of key players are starting to get healthy.

When the Tigers lost the World Series in 2012, the general assumption was that they would be back, and it wouldn’t take long for them to do so. Detroit fans have waited — not always patiently — for that day to come after the franchise went all-in for the “now”, while abandoning the “future” in the process.

That lukewarm support can’t be attributed solely to steroid rumors; Sosa’s overall statistics beyond his home run total don’t necessarily present an ironclad case, and the corked bat didn’t help. But it appears unlikely he’ll reach the level of support needed to be voted in by the writers or future veterans’ committees.

Sosa’s words to Wasserstrom make it sound like he’s made his peace with that. The rest of the interview touches on his transition to being a businessman, his acrimonious departure from Chicago after Cheap Jerseys Hot the 2004 season, and the Cubs’ run to the World Series title, among other topics.

“The similarities: The quick release, the arm talent and the ability stay in balance while moving his feet,” McShay wrote. “A lot of time and motivation went into Rodgers’ NFL development, of course, but you see the raw tools with Trubisky.”

To be fair, the anonymous person compared Trubisky to Rodgers when the quarterback was coming into the NFL, not at his current status. It’s still a noticeable comment since someone with authority sees Rodgers kind of potential out of Trubisky.

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Seahawks punter Jon Ryan bids strange farewell to Stephen Hauschka on Twitter

Curt Schilling could cost himself induction, at least via the writers, with his Twitter account. It won’t get that bad for Jones, who looks like a first-ballot selection no matter what. But a few writers could ding him when he becomes eligible for his past tweets. Even before social media, as well, there were a few hints that Jones could lose Hall of Fame votes. For one thing, longtime Atlanta Journal-Constitution sports editor Furman Bisher wrote in 2010 that Jones might not be worth a first-ballot vote because he fell short of 500 home runs. It’s weird logic, but some people ascribe to it.

Seahawks punter Jon Ryan had a close relationship with kicker Stephen Hauschka in Seattle.

So Ryan can probably get away with the funny Twitter message he posted after news broke Thursday that Hauschka had signed a four-year, $12.4 million contract with the Bills.

“It’s been an honor to hold your balls for the last 6 years @StevenHauschka,” he wrote. “Good luck in Buffalo unless you play us then I hope you suck.”

It’s been an honor to hold your balls for the last 6 years @StevenHauschka. Good Cheap Hockey Jerseys Custom luck in Buffalo unless you play us then I hope you suck.

A 2016 Pro Bowl alternate, Hauschka has been one of the most sure-footed kickers in the NFL since joining the Seahawks in 2011. Hauschka has made 175 of 197 field-goal attempts (88.8 percent), including an 89.1 field-goal completion percentage in 2016, when he made 33 of 37 field goal attempts.

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Penguins vs. Capitals: Washington has everything to prove in Game 1

It’s a shame that, once again, the Penguins and Capitals series is not the Eastern Conference Final. Sure, the winner of this series is likely to go to the Stanley Cup Final, but it should be for all of the marbles instead of wasting away in the playoff’s most boring round.

You know the story. Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. Braden Holtby vs. Marc-Andre Fleury. Evgeni Malkin vs. Nicklas Backstrom. The Capitals are deeper but the Penguins have Washington’s number.

The time seems to be now for the Capitals, but they’ll have to best their biggest Design Cheap Jerseys Online challenge first. Let’s break down Game 1, shall we?

“As a wide receiver, first and foremost, I think I’m tough, both physically and mentally,” Hansen says. “I think the physical attribute that I bring to the table or to any NFL team that drafts me is my ability to catch balls, really. My hands. I think my ability to win the 50/50 ball is the best in this class this year, and I think that’s something that will really help me at the next level.”

“I would definitely say the reason I win the 50/50 balls is my competitiveness, and I think that carries over to every aspect of football, and I think that my competitiveness is probably one of the best in this draft,” he adds. “I think that’s really something that separates me and my will to win. But I think, as a purely football aspect of it, the mental part of the game — I think that I am really good at doing that.”

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Paul Pierce’s farewell tour was odd, and that’s just fine

Paul Pierce played his final NBA game on Sunday in a Game 7 loss to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs. The 39-year-old announced it would be his final season back in September, ending a decorated career from the guy who was originally drafted 10th by the Boston Celtics. While his play slipped in the final two years of his career in L.A., that won’t taint his overall legacy.

The 49ers defense looked dominant one paper after Day 1. They traded down Detroit Lions Cheap Jerseys to the No. 3 spot and still got the second player on their draft board, dangerous edge rusher Solomon Thomas. San Francisco traded back into the first round to snag another of the top players on its board, hard-hitting linebacker Reuben Foster, at No. 31 overall. Ahkello Witherspoon is a big-bodied corner who has the potential to morph into a shutdown cornerback. And quarterback C.J. Beathard, selected in the third round along with Witherspoon, was a questionable selection, but Shanahan said that Beathard reminded him “a lot of Kirk Cousins.”

The Cardinals didn’t waste any time addressing their needs on defense. They used their first-round pick on linebacker Haason Reddick, who has the athleticism and speed to get to the quarterback and cover tight ends. Arizona followed that up by selecting safety Budda Baker on Day 2. Baker is an explosive safety who plays with speed and instincts. The Cardinals also drafted receiver Chad Williams on Day 2. Arizona’s Day 3 picks were Discount Bike Jerseys Dorian Johnson, Will Holden, T.J. Logan, and Rudy Ford.

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LeBron James is too great to fail against the Raptors

We could leave that question unanswered as a hanging rhetorical query, but there’s no need. We all know the answer; it’s unnecessary to leave any hanging doubt. They can’t handle him. And in two, maybe three more games, the box scores will officially show what we pretty clearly know right now.

Bird’s lone mid-season acquisition was signing Lance Stephenson to a free agent contract near the end of the regular season.

The Pacers can offer George a fifth season on his contract for around $30 million more than any other team. If George makes an All-NBA team, Indiana can offer him a five-year deal worth $219 million — nearly $70 million more than any team. The Pacers’ All-Star averaged 23.7 points and 6.6 rebounds on 46 percent shooting from the field and 39 percent shooting from downtown, but there are only six forward spots across the three All-NBA teams, so he must compete with LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Jimmy Butler.

That slashes the financial incentive for George to remain with the Pacers’ franchise that drafted him 10th overall in 2010. It also increases the odds Indiana fields or accepts a trade offer for their star forward over the summer. Indiana entertained a trade offer from the Boston Celtics near the trade deadline, but stood pat.

George has been linked to returning to his hometown of Los Angeles to play for Magic Johnson Ravens Cheap Jerseys and the Lakers. With no clear path to a championship in Indiana, and now Bird out of the picture, George’s tenure NFL Cheap Jerseys Wholesale with the Pacers could be coming to a close.

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