Paul Goldschmidt focused on Cardinals, not 2020 free agency

Now that he is with the St. Louis Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt is not thinking beyond the 2019 season.

The six-time All-Star was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks this week and will earn $14.5 million in the final season of a seven-year deal that will pay $46 million, including a $1 million assignment bonus for the trade. If he doesn’t sign a new contract, he would be among the top free agents next offseason.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“Try not to have any distractions, so anything like that won’t be on my mind,” Goldschmidt said at his introductory news conference Friday. “I think the biggest thing is I’m excited to be here, excited to be part of this team and organization and just focused on getting ready for spring training and opening day and the season and trying to help us win.”

St. Louis has a history of acquiring sluggers such as Mark McGwire and Matt Holliday and signing them to long-term contracts.

“It’s always hard to pencil out these types of deals when you only have one year of control,” president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said. “… I’ve always sort of been one of those types of people who thinks about the bigger picture. This was a different type of deal for us. It was clearly about trying to position the 2019 team to be more competitive.”12

St. Louis sent pitcher Luke Weaver, catcher Carson Kelly, minor league infielder Andy Young and a 2019 draft pick to Arizona on Wednesday for Goldschmidt.

“The Cardinals have had some impressive first basemen over the years,” Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. said, citing Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Bill White, Orlando Cepeda, McGwire, Keith Hernandez, Albert Pujols and Matt Carpenter.

“Paul is a perfect fit for our club,” DeWitt added. “Last year, we won 88 games. Had a wonderful second half — struggled in the first half and were so close to the playoffs. We felt like an additional impact player could put us over the top.”

St. Louis has missed the playoffs in three straight years for the first time since 1997-99.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“We couldn’t find anything negative on him. Nothing,” Mozeliak said of Goldschmidt. “He loves baseball. Loves to play the game, plays it right. And when you think about the St. Louis Cardinals, he just sounds like the perfect fit.”


Nationals owner: Maxed out offer for Bryce Harper, ‘don’t expect him to come back’

Nationals owner Mark Lerner says he doesn’t expect Bryce Harper to return to Washington after telling the superstar outfielder that the team maxed out its offer at the end of the regular season.

Multiple reports said Harper, the 2015 National League MVP, rejected a 10-year contract worth approximately $300 million in September.

Lerner didn’t discuss the exact offer that was given to Harper, but he said the Nationals couldn’t comfortably offer more and field a competitive team around the six-time All-Star.

“When we met with them and we gave them the offer, we told them, ‘This is the best we can do.’ We went right to the finish line very quickly,” Lerner told 106.7 The Fan. “And we said, ‘If this is of interest to you, please come back to us, and we’ll see whether we can finish it up.’ But we just couldn’t afford to put more than that in and still be able to put a team together that had a chance to win the NL East or go farther than that.”

Even if Harper, 26, were willing to accept the previous Nationals offer, Lerner said he wasn’t sure the team could now make it work.cheap nfl nike jerseys china

The Nationals officially signed left-hander Patrick Corbin on Friday to a heavily back-loaded six-year deal worth $140 million. At a news conference introducing Corbin on Friday, general manager Mike Rizzo said the deal wasn’t relevant to what might happen with Harper.11

“I think they’re independent of each other. I really do,” Rizzo said. “We’ve gone about this business of creating a roster for 2019, and at the end of the day, we’ll figure out whether that includes Harp or not.

“We thought it was good business — we had to fix the things we needed to fix. Harp is a big part of our family and we’d love to have him back.”

No timeline has been given for when Harper is expected to sign with a team. Harper is expected to receive the largest contract in free agency this year, and Boras is known for extending talks with his free agents past the holiday break.

Without Harper, the Nationals would have Adam Eaton, Juan Soto, Michael Taylor and Victor Robles in their outfield.

“We feel very strongly we’re in good shape,” Lerner said. “It’ll be a young, pretty incredible outfield defensively, and certainly with the bat, it’s going to be special.“cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

And now the Nationals have Corbin joining a star-studded rotation with Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg.

Corbin gets a $2.5 million signing bonus payable next Oct. 31 and salaries of $12.5 million next season, $19 million in 2020, $24 million in 2021, $23 million in 2022, $24 million in 2023 and $35 million in 2024 — when he turns 35. The final year’s salary includes $10 million that will be deferred without interest and payable on Jan. 15, 2026.


The Sixers being this good is a minor miracle

Philly arrives in Toronto on Wednesday essentially in a second-place tie in the Eastern Conference standings. That’s a minor miracle. The past nine months have seen an incredible streak of bad luck and, for lack of a better term, uncontrollable happenstance that has threatened to wreck the momentum that took so many years to craft.

It hasn’t been framed that way because the Sixers and their fans maybe haven’t stopped to consider it; they’ve just dealt with one trauma after another. But what a run.nike nfl jerseys wholesale cheap

It seems like it started in late March against the tanking New York Knicks on a simple give-and-go with Joel Embiid and Markelle Fultz. Fultz’s shoulder — yes, that shoulder — ran into Embiid’s face and fractured his orbital bone. Watch the replay, it was crazy; they weren’t even in traffic. It was just a horrid bit of fortune.

At that point, the Sixers had won seven in a row and were just laying waste to teams. They were ramping up to their finest ball of the season. Heck, they were ramping up to their finest ball of the decade.9

Embiid needed surgery and missed 10 games. The Sixers kept winning, eventually getting to 17 in a row, but that belied the fallout. When Embiid came back in the playoffs he wasn’t himself. He had a few good games, but his shooting, rebounding, scoring and efficiency plunged in the postseason. Against the Boston Celtics they needed their best player because Ben Simmons was frozen and Embiid just couldn’t deliver.cheap nike nfl jerseys from china

Then, of course, we have the great Bryan Colangelo twitter fiasco of 2018. There was so much scrutiny and stress as amateur and professional investigators combed through the internet that it might have been lost on the masses just how ludicrous the entire scenario was.

It is incumbent on any major business to prepare contingency and disaster-response plans. But even in the world of the NBA — in which there seem to be disasters of some sort every few weeks — there was nothing in the handbook for this one. Even now, months later, it still isn’t totally clear what happened as Colangelo has gone underground and no one wants to talk about it. The upshot is the Sixers lost their GM days before they were about to embark on arguably the most important offseason in franchise history.

Would having Colangelo at the controls instead of the front office scrambling to hold things together have made a difference? Would the Sixers have landed a free agent instead of striking out and having to absorb Wilson Chandler as their major offseason move? Would they have been able to close the Nemanja Bjelica deal instead of it falling apart? We don’t know.

What we do know is that it was a letdown of a summer as their competitors made major moves. It created pressure for them to make the in-season move for Jimmy Butler, rolling the dice that he’ll re-sign.


The NFL’s ‘willful ignorance,’ and how it botched the Kareem Hunt case

Kareem Hunt apologized to the world, the Kansas City Chiefs organization, his family and his close friends before he finally got around to apologizing to the young woman he shoved and kicked in February — more than seven minutes into Sunday’s interview with ESPN’s Lisa Salters. But just as telling about the assault that ultimately cost Hunt his job was his confirmation that the league had never interviewed him about it.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Hunt talked to the Chiefs after the assault outside his Cleveland hotel residence, and the Chiefs then talked to the league, and then Hunt was free to play 11 games and to help his team emerge as a Super Bowl contender. NFL officials accepted a version of events first supplied by a star running back invested in protecting his career, and then passed along by a team invested in keeping said difference-maker on the field, as part of yet another investigation and decision exposed as disturbing, revealing and woefully inadequate by a video aired on TMZ.

“It should surprise me, but it doesn’t,” said Kathy Redmond, who founded the National Coalition Against Violent Athletes more than 20 years ago. “These are non-investigations. It goes back to willful ignorance, and arrogance and hubris on the part of the NFL. It feels like everything the NFL does is on the surface, and to address PR and the brand they have to protect.”

Yes, the NFL says it did try (and fail) to obtain the video from Cleveland police and the hotel, and did try (and fail) to interview the victim it described in a Sunday statement as a “complainant.” That statement said the league’s “ongoing” investigation will include more attempts to interview “the complainants involved in the incident. It will include a review of the new information that was made public on Friday — which was not available to the NFL previously — as well as further conversations with all parties involved in the incident.”11

“Our investigation identified a number of investigative steps that the League did not take to acquire additional information about what occurred inside the elevator. League investigators did not contact any of the police officers who investigated the incident, the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, or the Revel to attempt to obtain or view the in-elevator video or to obtain other information. No one from the League asked Rice or his lawyer whether they would make available for viewing the in-elevator video they received as part of criminal discovery in early April. And, after the initial contacts with the Ravens in the immediate aftermath of the incident, League investigators did not follow up with the Ravens to determine whether the team had additional information.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

That report was dated Jan. 8, 2015. Nearly four years later, with Mueller a bit tied up at the moment, it sure would be interesting to see what an independent review of the Hunt “investigation” would turn up.

Understand this: By making multiple attempts to speak with witnesses and to secure the video from hotel officials and law enforcement — even after Cleveland police decided they wouldn’t file charges against Hunt — the league believes it has been more aggressive in the Hunt case than it was in the Rice case, a low standard indeed. An NFL spokesman declined comment when emailed this question: “Why didn’t the league interview Kareem Hunt after the alleged assault?” A person with knowledge of the case said investigators always prefer to speak with the victim of an alleged crime before they speak with the alleged perpetrator, and that the woman’s refusal to respond to the league’s requests for an interview scuttled the plan to interview Hunt.


Brighton overcome red card to swat aside poor Crystal Palace in southern derby

Replays appeared to show the Palace man had touched the ball before the Colombian went down, but Glenn Murray converted the spot kick for his ninth league goal of the season. Only Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has a better return this campaign than the 35-year-old.

Brighton and Palace share a feisty rivalry with the fixture dubbed the “M23 derby” after the road that links the two clubs and last season’s fixture was marred by crowd disturbances.cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china

Those violent scenes were not repeated on Tuesday but Brighton were reduced to 10 men four minutes after going ahead when Shane Duffy was shown a straight red for attempting to head butt Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt.12

The decision did not halt their momentum, however, as substitute Leon Balogun, brought on to compensate for the dismissal, drilled the ball in from the middle of the area.wholesale cheap nfl jersey china

The home side lost Murray to an injury and his replacement Florin Andone scored Brighton’s third in the fourth minute of first-half stoppage time. The Romanian finished off a fast break by striking the ball into the far corner past Wayne Hennessey.

Balogun conceded a penalty 10 minutes before the end by fouling Wilfried Zaha and Luka Milivojevic stepped up to pull one back, but it was not enough to stop Chris Hughton’s side from sealing all three points to rise to 10th in the standings.

“When it was 11 vs. 11 we were the best side. I thought we were outstanding. It’s shame their penalty went in,” Brighton boss Hughton told BBC Sport.

“All first goals are decisive. Anyone who has seen the replay of the penalty will have seen what I have seen so there is no point commenting. That wasn’t the crucial factor. The second goal was the really decisive moment.”


Manchester United lineup vs. Arsenal will be decided at last minute – Jose Mourinho

Mourinho’s injury problems are not restricted to his defence, with Alexis Sanchez sidelined because of a hamstring tear and Marcus Rashford doubtful because of an ankle problem.cheap nfl jersey wholesale

“Against Southampton, three hours before the game I didn’t know the team I was going to play,” said Mourinho, who was forced to pick midfielders Nemanja Matic and Scott McTominay in defence during the 2-2 draw at St Mary’s.

“Nobody knew the team and ourselves we didn’t know yet. We were waiting to see who could and couldn’t [play] and I think we are going to be in a similar situation.11

“If you asked me at 11 a.m. [on Tuesday] I would say Smalling is not playing, Bailly is not playing, Jones is not playing.

“Of course, Lindelof is out of the question. Valencia is not playing, Shaw is a doubt, Darmian is back but I have to wait and maybe we decide like the last match a couple of hours before the game.”

United face Arsenal sitting seventh in the table, 16 points behind leaders Manchester City and eight adrift of the top four.

Mourinho has said repeatedly he was expecting a difficult campaign and revealed ahead of the meeting with the Gunners that he has been proved right because his was the only team in the top six that did not to improve over the summer.

In comparison, Liverpool spent £167m, Chelsea £128m, Arsenal £68m and Manchester City £63m while Tottenham did not sign a single new player.cheap wholesale nfl jerseys china

“All of the teams they got better,” Mourinho told a news conference on Tuesday. “Spurs was the team who didn’t make direct investment but the best investment is to keep the top players you have so everything got better and we didn’t so I was expecting difficulties for this season but my target is still the top four and we have to fight until the end to try to finish in the top four.”

United’s poor start to the season — they have taken 22 points from their first 14 games — has prompted questions about whether the squad are still behind their manager.

However, Mourinho insisted the performance levels of the players should not be driven by their relationship with him, but out of respect for the shirt.


Pirates avoid arbitration, reach deal with reliever Michael Feliz

The Pirates avoided arbitration with reliever Michael Feliz, reaching an agreement on Friday on an $850,000, one-year contract.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

Feliz went 1-2 with a 5.33 ERA in 47 appearances for the Pirates in 2018 after being part of the trade that sent pitcher Gerrit Cole to Houston.

Pittsburgh offered contracts to left fielder Corey Dickerson and reliever Keone Kela.11

Dickerson is likely due a significant raise over the $5.95 million he made this year. Dickerson hit .300 with 13 home runs and 55 RBI and earned the first Gold Glove of his career after being obtained from Tampa Bay on the eve of the regular season.

Pittsburgh acquired Kela at the trade deadline in July. He went 3-4 with a 3.29 ERA in 54 appearances for Texas and Pittsburgh, earning $1.2 million. The Pirates ended his season early September as a precaution due to his workload. Kela’s 52 innings were his most since 60 1/3 as a rookie in 2015.cheap nfl nike jerseys from china


Injury-plagued Rockets’ lack of depth exposed in loss to Mavericks

For the Rockets, the best thing about their fourth consecutive loss was that it was lopsided enough for coach Mike D’Antoni to pull his overworked starters with more than seven minutes remaining.

The injury-riddled Rockets’ lack of depth was exposed in Wednesday’s 128-108 loss to the Dallas Mavericks, who had a 65-25 edge in bench scoring.new nike nfl jerseys for sale cheap

“Obviously, it’s a problem,” D’Antoni said. “It’s something that I know that the front office tried to address. They’re going to do the best they can. No blame going around; it’s just the way it is.”12

The Rockets played without star guard Chris Paul (hamstring) and key reserve wing Gerald Green (ankle). D’Antoni indicated that he expects both players to return for Friday’s road game against the San Antonio Spurs (8 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN App) and that backup center Nene Hilario is close to being ready for his season debut after being sidelined by a calf strain.

“Then our depth is pretty good,” D’Antoni said. “We’ve got everybody a couple of rungs up. We’ve got rookies playing as the sixth or seventh man. They should be ninth, 10th men. They would be OK every once in a while, but when you rely on them, it’s tough. And it’s not their fault. They’re going to develop. Again, we’re just going to have to knock on wood and make sure they stay healthy.”

The only Rockets reserves to play non-garbage time minutes against the Mavs were recent G League call-up Danuel House Jr. and undrafted rookies Gary Clark and Isaiah Hartenstein. The Rockets entered the season counting on minimum-salary additions Carmelo Anthony and Michael Carter-Williams to play key reserve roles, but the team opted to part ways with Anthony after he struggled, and Carter-Williams has fallen out of the rotation.cheap wholesale nike nfl jerseys

Four players on the Rockets, who are second to last in the Western Conference standings with a 9-11 record, have averaged more than 36 minutes during the losing streak, which has included two overtime games. D’Antoni believes that fatigue has played a significant role in the Rockets’ recent struggles and is concerned about the long-term effect if he can’t lighten the loads of James Harden, PJ Tucker, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon, in particular.

The Mavs’ bench significantly outplayed the Rockets’ starters early in the fourth quarter on Wednesday, killing any hopes of a Houston comeback after Harden (25 points, 11 rebounds, 17 assists and six steals) led a rally to cut the deficit to seven points at the end of the third. Mavs reserve guards J.J. Barea (13 points, 12 assists in 18 minutes) and Devin Harris (20 points, four assists in 15 minutes) dominated during a 20-6 run that led D’Antoni to pull his starters.


The hottest NFL coaching candidates: Don’t rule out Josh McDaniels

Five weeks from now, a half-dozen or so NFL teams are going to be looking for new head coaches, and most of them are going to want their candidates to be guys who know how to score points.

There’s a guy with the New England Patriots who knows how to do it. And before you laugh off the notion that any NFL team would trust Josh McDaniels enough to bring him in for an interview after what he did in Indianapolis 10 months ago, you need to understand the landscape.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

Baggage and all, McDaniels’ talents as a coach and playcaller make him a very interesting candidate for teams that will find themselves in the head-coaching market in January. It’s rough out there if you’re looking for the next offensive coaching wunderkind. The list of guys with McDaniels’ credentials is pretty short, and demand for those kinds of guys isn’t fading away.

All seven of the head-coaching hires in 2016 were from offensive backgrounds, as were four of the six in 2017. Out of those two groups, one (Doug Pederson) has won the Super Bowl, a few (Sean McVay, Anthony Lynn, Kyle Shanahan) are still trying, a couple (Dirk Koetter, Adam Gase) are barely hanging on, and a few more (Ben McAdoo, Hue Jackson, Chip Kelly) didn’t make it.12

But offense is still the name of the modern NFL game, and teams are looking for the guys who are the best at coaching it. Problem is, after a couple of years of accelerating smart, young, relatively inexperienced offensive coordinators into head-coaching positions, the pipeline starts to look a little bit dry. The sense around the league right now is that, while you can expect the usual six or eight head-coaching openings the NFL creates every year, the list of candidates to fill those openings is a little lighter than it has been in recent years.

Which is why it’s not at all crazy to think that some coach-needy team, or teams, will turn their lonely eyes once again to Bill Belichick’s brilliant but mercurial offensive coordinator. McDaniels was the hottest name on the circuit last year, and assuming he wants another shot at those interviews, there’s a good chance he will be again. Multiple sources close to the situation say McDaniels would be interested in a head-coaching opportunity if it were the right one, which is something we’ve heard of McDaniels before. If you want to roll your eyes, it’s hard to blame you.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

Any team interested in bringing in McDaniels for an interview is going to want to put him through a series of pointed questions specific to his situation and his history. Whereas he spent the past couple of interview cycles answering questions about what went wrong during his first head-coaching stint with the Denver Broncos — he went 11-17 and was fired during his second season — McDaniels now will face those again as well as fresh questions about what in the absolute heck happened with the Indianapolis Colts.


How fast is Lamar Jackson? It’s like trying to catch ‘roadrunner’

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr had watched how fast Lamar Jackson was on film and wanted to see if he could get a hand on the rookie quarterback during training camp.cheap nfl jerseys from china nike

Jackson broke through the middle of the line, and Carr darted toward him. Did he come close to Jackson? Carr shook his head.

“He’s like a roadrunner. His feet go so fast,” Carr said. “His vision and his feet are always on the same page. He’s out there just gliding. Some people are built like that. He has some different hamstrings or tendons down there.”

Jackson has shown a burst that’s at a different level than other NFL players. There’s fast and there’s Lamar-fast.

According to NFL Next Gen Stats, Jackson has 19 rushes over the past two weeks in which he has reached speeds of at least 15 miles per hour. That’s nine more than the next closest players, Ezekiel Elliott and Alvin Kamara.11

“We all are sports fans, and ‘speed kills’ is what they say, in any sport, really, so it’s fun to watch,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “I always just go by, for any kind of ball carrier, by how many people they make miss, or changing the angles. To me, that always is the comparison when you watch them in terms of how they affect the game. I think that’s how you can judge the speed, more than how they look running.”

Jackson’s 190 yards rushing are the most through a quarterback’s first two starts in the Super Bowl era. For the two most prolific running quarterbacks in NFL history, Michael Vick had 51 yards in his first two starts and Randall Cunningham ran for 150 yards.

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who faces Jackson on Sunday, believes the hardest part to prepare for is Jackson’s speed. On the Ravens’ run-option plays, Jackson has the zip to get to the edge if the defender setting the edge bites inside. On passing plays, Jackson has the explosiveness to pull down the ball and race 10 to 15 yards if defenses play man-to-man and turn their back on him.cheap nfl nike jerseys free shipping

“It’s difficult to simulate, because he has such quickness and speed, like a wide receiver or a corner has, but he’s behind center,” Quinn said. “Simulating that speed at practice, that’s the most difficult part, because you could do it with a receiver for the run plays, but it’s not as authentic, because you can’t step back and rip the passes like normal.”