Tim Tebow Gets Major League Spring Training Invite from Mets

The next step in Tim Tebow's baseball journey came on Friday when it was announced he received an invite to Major League camp with the New York Mets for spring training. 

Per the Mets' official Twitter account, Tebow was one of nine players invited to MLB camp. 

Tebow signed a minor league contract with the Mets in September 2016, but he didn't receive an invite to MLB camp last year despite the wishes of then-manager Terry Collins.

"I will tell you if he’s not in our camp, I’ll get him over," Collins told reporters at the 2016 winter meetings. "I think he’s a name in Florida. He’s a star in Florida. He should be. I think it would be fun to have Tim come over. And certainly one thing about our players, they’re athletes, too. They’re fans, too. They would probably like to know how to run a quarterback sneak one day."

In his first full minor league season last year, Tebow hit .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs in 126 games between Low-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie. 

By receiving an invite to major league camp, Tebow can compete for a spot on either the Mets' 25-man Opening Day roster or 40-man roster so he could be added to the MLB team due to injury or poor performance at any point in the season. 

Position players are scheduled to report to spring training by Feb. 17 before the Mets have their first full-squad workout two days later. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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How a 98-Win MLB Team Has Plummeted to 100-Loss Candidate in 2 Years

The sinking ship metaphors are too easy and too cruel for Pittsburgh Pirates fans. Yet, it must be written: In the span of two short years, the Bucs have gone from a team that won 98 games to one that might lose 100. 

It's a plunge that makes Davy Jones' locker look like the shallow end of the community pool.

On Jan. 13, the Pirates traded ace Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros. Two days later, they sent outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants. Presto change-o, a weakly whipping white flag replaced their black skull-and-crossbones banner.

Subsequently, two-time All-Star and super-utilityman Josh Harrison released a statement saying "perhaps it would be better for all involved" if he were also dealt, per The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal

No shocker there. As Harrison added in his statement, "I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond." The opportunity to do that in Pittsburgh is sunk.

It didn't have to be this way. In 2013, the Pirates snapped an ignoble streak of 20 consecutive losing seasons and finished 94-68. They beat the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Wild Card Game before losing three games to two to the St. Louis Cardinals in the division series. They were a squad on the rise.

In 2014, Pittsburgh finished 88-74 and snagged another wild-card spot but lost to the San Francisco Giants and postseason buzzsaw Madison Bumgarner in the do-or-die contest.

Then, in 2015, the Pirates peaked at 98-64 before falling again in the NL Wild Card Game, this time to the Chicago Cubs.

Three postseason forays, three dispiriting exits.

That's when the wind began to gust away from Pittsburgh's sails. An 83-loss 2016 was followed by an 87-loss 2017. Only the lowly Reds kept the Pirates from the division cellar in the latter go-around.

A number of factors were responsible for the decline. 

McCutchen, a five-time All-Star and the NL MVP in 2013, endured a steep statistical dive in 2016. Infielder Jung Ho Kang looked like part of the team's future after coming over from Korea in 2015, but a drunk-driving arrest and subsequent prison sentence in his home country derailed that plan. 

In April 2017, Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for a positive performance-enhancing drug test.

Some of that isn't the Pirates' fault. Good players fade. Others make poor choices. 

On the other hand, ownership has been stingy, as Sports Illustrated's Jon Tayler spelled out:

"Keep in mind that [principal owner Bob] Nutting is a billionaire who owns a newspaper conglomerate and is the chairman of a ski resort in Pennsylvania. Keep in mind that, before the 2017 season, Forbes valued the Pirates as being worth $1.25 billion. Keep in mind that the Pirates are revenue sharing recipients, and that their $109 million payroll in 2017 was 25th in the league, some $50 million below the MLB average."

Nutting could have spent more. He could have opened his wallet and built around the largely homegrown, championship-caliber core that emerged beginning in 2013. Instead, the Pirates are initiating a fire sale.

"It's refreshing to come to an environment where the team is willing to continually put resources into the club and continue to move forward and try to provide the best possible product for its fans," Cole said after being traded to the Astros, per Elizabeth Bloom of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Take that as you will.

Pittsburgh got some interesting players back in the Cole and McCutchen deals, including a couple who could help in the big leagues in 2018. They also punted on any hope of contention in the near term.

According to FanGraphs' calculation, McCutchen and Cole were worth a combined 6.8 WAR. Add Harrison and we're up to 9.4.

That shoves an 87-loss club perilously close to 100 losses, even if you believe in oft-injured outfield prospect Austin Meadows or 26-year-old right-hander Jameson Taillon (4.44 ERA in 2017).

If you want to take the temperature of the Pirates fanbase, look no further than a Change.org petition aimed at forcing Nutting to sell the team. As of this writing, the petition had vaulted past 48,000 signatures.

"Pittsburgh is a baseball town that is being destroyed by a greedy owner," the petition reads. "There are so many loyal fans who truly care and support this team through thick and thin. We deserve better."

Baseball's economics are tricky. Winning windows close as quickly as they open. McCutchen, in particular, was an obvious trade candidate in his final year of controllability. Sometimes, even local heroes have to go.

At the same time, the grievances against Nutting have merit. Pirates fans aren't wrong to be sharpening their pitchforks on the shores of the Allegheny River.

It's possible 98 wins could become 100 defeats in the span of two years. It's possible the Bucs pulled the plug too quickly and didn't expend enough effort to build around their once-enviable core. 

The sinking ship metaphors are too easy. That said—glug, glug, glug.

                

All statistics courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Yasmany Tomas Arrested for Criminal Speeding After Allegedly Driving 105 MPH

Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas was reportedly arrested Thursday and charged with reckless driving and criminal speeding.

KTAR News reported the news, noting he was allegedly driving 105 mph but was not impaired.

KTAR News noted Arizona law says drivers can be arrested if they travel faster than 85 mph on any road. Drivers can have their license suspended for the reckless driving or criminal speeding charge, but the latter brings a maximum sentence of up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

"We are very disappointed to learn of this news," a Diamondbacks spokesperson said, per KTAR News. "We are still gathering facts, and will refrain from further comment at this time as this is a pending legal matter."

On the field, Tomas impressed in 2016 and slashed .272/.313/.508 with 31 home runs and 83 RBI. However, he struggled with a core injury in 2017 and played just 47 games, slashing .241/.294/.464 with eight home runs and 32 RBI.

David Schoenfield of ESPN.com deemed the six-year, $68.5 million deal he signed in 2014 the worst contract investment on the Diamondbacks.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLBPA Reportedly Will Reject Pitch Clock, Pace of Play Rules

As Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred pursues ways to improve the pace of play, the MLB Players Association reportedly is prepared to reject the latest proposal.

Per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the union is expected to reject the introduction of a pitch clock and other revised pace-of-play rules brought forth by Manfred. 

Rosenthal also noted Manfred would be allowed to go around the union to implement his previous plan that included a 20-second pitch clock and fewer visits to the pitcher's mound.

      

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Cubs Can Build a 2018 Champion Without Sacrificing Bryce Harper Dream

Anyone looking from afar can be forgiven if they perceive the Chicago Cubs to be so preoccupied with fitting Bryce Harper for a uniform that they're neglecting more immediate priorities.

Fear not. At least, not too much.

The Cubs ended their 2017 season by being thoroughly outclassed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Championship Series. Although this happened just a year after snapping a 108-year World Series title drought, it was apparent then and there that a significant course correction was in order for the North Siders.

In fairness, the Cubs are the rare team that hasn't spent the offseason saying "Nah" to the free-agent market. They've signed a class of newcomers headlined by four pitchers: Tyler Chatwood, Brandon Morrow, Steve Cishek and Drew Smyly.

But, to date, no big fish have been forthcoming.

It was already hard not to wonder if that was because the Cubs were holding out for next year's ridiculous free-agent class, which will notably be headlined by Harper.

After the latest from team chairman Tom Ricketts, it's now impossible not to wonder about this.

"Next year's free-agent class is different than this year's free-agent class," Ricketts said last Friday, per Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago. "I think what you're seeing with teams out there would rather have dry powder a year from now. ... There's a lot of pieces and parts, but ultimately, I think teams are trying to keep their powder dry."

To an extent, this is a weak excuse to presently be pinching pennies. The Cubs are projected to open 2018 with a $157 million payroll. They opened 2016 and 2017 over $170 million. 

Of course, any big fish signed to a multi-year deal will be around beyond 2018. That's a legitimate issue in this case.

Due to new functions in the new collective bargaining agreement, the Cubs must be as afraid of the luxury-tax threshold as the next team. They sure look afraid now, as they're projected at $35.4 million under the $197 million luxury-tax threshold for 2018. But even with the threshold due to increase to $206 million, that same space may not be there in 2019.

Chicago's $120.1 million tax figure for 2019 isn't counting a $6.25 million option for Pedro Strop or a $10.5 million option for Jose Quintana. Nor is it counting second trips through arbitration for Kris Bryant (who just made arbitration history with a $10.85 million salary), Kyle Hendricks and Addison Russell or first trips through arbitration for Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber.

Given that Harper could cost as much as $30 million or even $40 million per year, this is a big picture that the Cubs darn well should be wary about if their ultimate goal is to sign him.

Certainly, they're not unreasonable if that is their ultimate goal.

In six seasons with the Washington Nationals, Harper has been an All-Star five times and an MVP once in 2015. Injuries have sidelined him here and there, to be sure. But highlighted by a 1.109 OPS, 42 home runs and 9.9 wins above replacement, that MVP season showed upside that only Mike Trout can match. And he'll only turn 26 in October.

The Cubs happen to have the perfect piece of bait to help reel in Harper. He and Bryant (who just turned 26 this month) both grew up in Las Vegas and are now good friends. Suffice it to say, Bryant wouldn't mind them becoming teammates.

"Who wouldn't want Bryce Harper on their team?" he said last Friday, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. 

In the meantime, though, it's within reason to question whether premature coveting of Harper is causing the Cubs to unwittingly punt on 2018. After all, the list of reasons to have faith doesn't go on forever.

FanGraphs does project the Cubs as the NL Central's best team next year. That has much to do with how well they've spread their money around this winter. They got Morrow and Cishek, who are coming off terrific years, for the price of one Wade Davis. Formerly of the Colorado Rockies, Chatwood is an excellent ground-ball artist who excelled away from Coors Field. It also has to do with expected turnarounds from incumbents, most notably Jon Lester after he was less than ace-like in 2017.

The goal, however, isn't to simply end up atop the NL Central. The goal is to return to the World Series.

That could mean going back through the Dodgers, who still look like the better team. Or it could mean going through the Nationals, who have more than enough talent to snap their streak of first-round exits from October.

To attain equal footing with these two National League rivals, the least the Cubs need is another starting pitcher.

If they also buy that Lester is due for a rebound that would cement him, Hendricks and Quintana as one of the best starting trios in baseball, they could go a low-risk route with a one-year contract. Useful pitchers who might be amenable to one of those are Andrew Cashner, Jaime Garcia and Jason Vargas.

Whether or not the Cubs do that, they could choose to wait and see if they truly need a bigger rotation upgrade. If yes, they could seek one on the summer trade market. Talented rentals who could come available are J.A. Happ, Patrick Corbin or Garrett Richards. Even better would be a controllable ace such as Chris Archer, Michael Fulmer, Danny Duffy or Marcus Stroman.

Or, there's the nuclear option: The Cubs go for broke now and figure out later, later.

I've already stumped for the Cubs to fill Jake Arrieta's shoes with Yu Darvish. At the start of the offseason, that was a sure thing to be at least a $25-million-per-year investment. Now, it may be at most that much. Possibly less.

That would still eat into whatever money the Cubs have earmarked for Harper, but there's no rule that says they couldn't make space. That could be done by trading some of their arbitration guys, such as Russell or Schwarber. Even better would be offloading some of the $106 million remaining on Jason Heyward's contract after 2018.

When it comes down to it, the Cubs don't have to choose between Harper for 2019 or going for glory in 2018. They just have to choose the best way to try for both.

             

Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. Payroll data courtesy of Cot's Baseball Contracts.

Follow zachrymer on Twitter

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Red Sox Rumors: J.D. Martinez Offer from Boston Reportedly 5 Years, $100M

The Boston Red Sox have reportedly made free-agent outfielder J.D. Martinez a substantial contract offer. 

Per ESPN's Buster Olney, the Red Sox's current proposal to Martinez is in the range of $100 million over five years.

 

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

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Google’s App Can Now Match Your Selfies To Famous Paintings

Google Arts & Culture app had been around for some time, it’s a simple app that offers insight into culture and art pieces, including well-written and passionate articles. But, if you wanted a history lesson, you’d go to that public book blockbuster thing everyone’s always raving about. Thankfully, Google realized this and made the app a little more exciting with a new facial recognition and matching feature.

Now, the app can take your everyday selfies and match them to famous portrait paintings.  It’s gotten so popular over the last week that even celebrities are jumping on board to see who they look like.

Maybe this will be the new craze that sweeps the country, I can see it now. “oh man, I got Galileo!”. “That’s cool, but I got Margaretha Leuveling.” Hey, anything’s better than idiot kids munching on packets of laundry detergent.

Google Arts & Culture app is available to download for free on the iOS and Google app stores.

TheVerge ]

You Probably Don’t Need A Laundry Folding Machine

Folding laundry sure is a pain. I mean there’s the folding part, then there’s the…well I guess that’s the only part. But it’s 2018, we shouldn’t have to waste our time folding laundry like we’re living in 1993.

Well there’s good news, Foldimate is here to make our lives easier by folding our clothes. There’s only one problem, it looks terrible.

Right off the bat, the thing is the size of a coffin. Good luck making room in those notoriously spacious laundry rooms. Also, the thing folds clothes at the speed of an old woman with arthritis and two replacement hips. If that’s not enough, each piece of clothing has to be feed into the machine like you’re spoon feeding a baby.

And to top it off, at $980 this thing isn’t exactly affordable. But hey, if you’re into folded laundry without all the hassle, maybe it’s a good investment.

As for me, I’ll just stick to my old faithful method of stuffing clean clothes in a dresser drawer at random.

LikeCool ]

Hit the jump for a video of the machine in (painfully slow) action.

Contraceptive App Hit With Complaints After 37 Women Receive Unwanted Pregnancies

There are many forms of contraceptive in the world today. No matter what your needs are, there is a way to make sure you don’t get a junior before you’re ready. Let me tell you what is not an effective contraceptive, an app.

Unfortunately, this came as news for 37 women who went to a Stockholm hospital that had unwanted pregnancies after using a birth fertility app called Natural Cycles. The app is designed to use information like body temperature and body cycles to determine fertility, and has even been approved as a form of birth control by the EU. But the thing is, bodies are complex and can’t be read like a copy of People Magazine.

The app is said to have an effective rate of 93%. That’s it. I have a better rate of actually waking up to my alarm clock instead of breaking it against the wall.

The app currently has 700,00 users, which is crazy and I hope people give a little more precaution that just checking their phone like they’re checking out a Facebook notification.

TheVerge ]

(Author’s Note: Just to be clear, I don’t blame anyone for trusting this app. It should have never been certified as a form of birth control by the EU.)

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MLB Trade Rumors: Top Potential Landing Spots for Players Still on the Block

The trade market has saved the 2017-2018 Major League Baseball offseason from inactivity infamy. Among those who have been dealt are Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Evan Longoria, Ian Kinsler and, most recently, Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen.

That's a lot, yet the end might not be in sight.

There are still a few star players left to be had. The goal here is to look at the markets for seven in particular and list their three top landing spots based on needs, available assets and timing. 

Going roughly in order from least- to most-desirable trade chip, let's take it away.

Begin Slideshow

Yankees Already Have Stud Pitcher They Need in 98 MPH Lefty Justus Sheffield

The team that won the World Series just added the best pitcher available on the winter trade market. The team that lost to the eventual champions in the ALCS did not.

That's actually not a problem for the New York Yankees, who no longer feel the need to scratch every itch with a splashy acquisition.

The Yankees aren't out of that business altogether. They made one of the moves of the winter when they traded for Giancarlo Stanton, they're still considered a possible destination for Yu Darvish and if they follow through on the plan to get under the luxury tax threshold in 2018, they'll be set up to play big on a much bigger free-agent market after this season.

But they had no desperate need for Gerrit Cole, which is why they could declare their top four prospects off limits in their trade talks with the Pittsburgh Pirates, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reported. The Yankees could have told the Pirates they couldn't have 21-year-old left-hander Justus Sheffield, among others, because Yankees general manager Brian Cashman knew that by the middle of the season Sheffield might be all the rotation help the Yankees need.

"I would have to think he helps them this year," said one National League scout who follows the Yankees farm system closely and considers Sheffield their top young arm. "The only thing he needs to improve is fastball command. But it's all there. Everything [about his stuff] is plus. Once he clears up [the fastball command], he's definitely a top-of-the-rotation guy. He's going to be really, really good."

Not every scout who has seen Sheffield agrees, with some seeing him fitting closer to the back end of a major league rotation.

"He reminds me a little of Mike Hampton," said one scout who works for an American League team.

Hampton won 148 games in a 16-year career and once finished second in Cy Young voting, so even that assessment isn't completely negative. And given that Sheffield is a lefty who stands a tick under 6'0" tall, as Hampton did, he doesn't grab your attention walking to the mound.

But what happens once he gets there can be pretty special. According to Baseball America, Sheffield threw his fastball as hard as 98 mph during a stint in the Arizona Fall League. He also throws a slider at 84-87 mph, and the scout who loves Sheffield praised him for the way he mixes his pitches and his feel for the game.

If not for an oblique injury that limited him to 17 starts and 93.1 innings at Double-A Trenton, Sheffield might already have been on the verge of breaking into the major league rotation. As it was, the Yankees sent him to the Fall League to make up for the time missed, and they were rewarded by seeing him walk just three and strike out 20 in 20.1 innings against other top prospects.

They can have him start 2018 at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, even if they don't add any more starters this winter, because by re-signing CC Sabathia they kept together the entire rotation that took them to Game 7 against the Houston Astros last October. They have Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Jordan Montgomery and Sabathia, and they also have guys like Chad Green who could move out of the bullpen if needed.

A year ago, the rotation was a major question. But Severino developed into an ace, Tanaka pitched extremely well down the stretch and the Yankees traded for Gray. Just as importantly, the Yankees kept their deep bullpen intact, which means new manager Aaron Boone should be able to limit the innings thrown by the back-end guys in the rotation.

The Astros, with a more unsettled rotation and a lesser bullpen, had a greater need for Cole. Because of the depth in their farm system, they were able to get him while also leaving several of their top prospects out of discussions with the Pirates.

It's always dangerous to count on any one pitching prospect, no matter how good his stuff or reputation. Some young pitchers get hurt, others struggle with adjusting to the big leagues. Severino went from top prospect in 2015, out of the rotation in 2016, to top of the rotation in 2017.

It could be that Chance Adams is the young starter who ends up helping the Yankees this year, or that Albert Abreu overtakes Sheffield as the best young high-end arm the Yankees have. Abreu was one of two pitchers the Yankees got from the Astros in exchange for Brian McCann, four months after they added Sheffield as part of the Andrew Miller trade with the Cleveland Indians. One scout who studied the Yankees system in 2017 pointed to 21-year-old right-hander Freicer Perez, who was at low Class A Charleston but impressed greatly.

For now, Sheffield is the best bet to help soon, and the best bet to help big. And if the Yankees end up playing the Astros again in October, perhaps Sheffield will be the guy who matches up with Gerrit Cole.

              

Danny Knobler covers Major League Baseball as a national columnist for Bleacher Report.

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Danny Duffy Pleads Guilty to DUI from August Arrest at Burger King

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence stemming from an incident at a Burger King in Overland Park, Kansas, last August.

According to the Kansas City Star's Rustin Dodd, Duffy had to pay a $1,220 fine and refrain from drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs for a year.

Overland Park communications manager Sean Reilly also said Duffy will have to perform "random breath, blood and urine tests."

An employee from Burger King captured a brief video showing Duffy's vehicle sitting idle in the drive-thru lane. Duffy had fallen asleep behind the wheel. Upon being awoken by another driver, he attempted to drive away but dropped his credit card. Police then arrived and cited him for DUI.

"I just wanted to say that, for this situation that's been put at hand, I apologize for the distraction, especially with where the team is at right now," Duffy said a statement after the incident. "Regardless of whether we'd been on a run or not, this is never a good time for this situation to come about."

Under a Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program agreed to by both MLB and the MLB Players Association, players who engage in alcohol-related misconduct can be subject to enrollment in a treatment program upon the referral of a treatment board. But enrollment is voluntary and players who don't participate in the program don't face additional discipline.

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Danny Duffy Pleads Guilty to DUI from August Arrest at Burger King

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Danny Duffy pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence stemming from an incident at a Burger King in Overland Park, Kansas, last August.

According to the Kansas City Star's Rustin Dodd, Duffy had to pay a $1,220 fine and refrain from drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs for a year.

Overland Park communications manager Sean Reilly also said Duffy will have to perform "random breath, blood and urine tests."

An employee from Burger King captured a brief video showing Duffy's vehicle sitting idle in the drive-thru lane. Duffy had fallen asleep behind the wheel. Upon being awoken by another driver, he attempted to drive away but dropped his credit card. Police then arrived and cited him for DUI.

"I just wanted to say that, for this situation that's been put at hand, I apologize for the distraction, especially with where the team is at right now," Duffy said a statement after the incident. "Regardless of whether we'd been on a run or not, this is never a good time for this situation to come about."

Under a Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program agreed to by both MLB and the MLB Players Association, players who engage in alcohol-related misconduct can be subject to enrollment in a treatment program upon the referral of a treatment board. But enrollment is voluntary and players who don't participate in the program don't face additional discipline.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Christian Yelich’s Relationship with Marlins ‘Irretrievably Broken,’ Says Agent

Outfielder Christian Yelich no longer wants to be part of the Miami Marlins organization, according to his agent. 

Per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, agent Joe Longo described Yelich's relationship with the Marlins as "irretrievably broken" and said the 26-year-old should be traded before spring training begins:

"The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It's soured. He's part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he's got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

"He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He's had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don't see how it's going to work."

   

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Christian Yelich’s Relationship with Marlins ‘Irretrievably Broken,’ Says Agent

Outfielder Christian Yelich no longer wants to be part of the Miami Marlins organization, according to his agent. 

Per ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, agent Joe Longo described Yelich's relationship with the Marlins as "irretrievably broken" and said the 26-year-old should be traded before spring training begins:

"The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It's soured. He's part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he's got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

"He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He's had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don't see how it's going to work."

   

This article will be updated to provide more information on this story as it becomes available.

Get the best sports content from the web and social in the new B/R app. Get the app and get the game.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Josh Harrison Trade Rumors: Pirates IF Wants Move After Andrew McCutchen Deal

Pittsburgh Pirates utility man Josh Harrison would like to be traded if the team is going to go through a rebuilding process.

In a statement issued to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Harrison cited comments made by Pirates general manager Neal Huntington as his rationale for wanting to be dealt:

"My passion for Pittsburgh, what it has MEANT to me, what it MEANS to me, can never be questioned. I love this city, I love the fans, I love my teammates. Saying that, the GM is on record as saying, 'When we get back to postseason-caliber baseball, we would love our fans to come back out.' If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer."

Harrison's comments come after the Pirates traded starting pitcher Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros on Saturday and sent outfielder Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants on Monday. 

Harrison has one guaranteed year remaining on the four-year deal he signed in 2015, though it also includes two team options worth a combined $22 million, per Spotrac.

After making three straight playoff appearances from 2013 to 2015, the Pirates have gone 153-170 over the past two seasons. McCutchen was entering the final season of his contract in 2018, and Cole had two more years of team control.

Harrison hit a career-high 16 home runs in 2017 despite missing 34 games, the final 26 of the season due to a broken hand. The 30-year-old has played every position except catcher, first base and center field in his seven-year MLB career.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Tauntaun Sleeping Bag Is Probably A Little Too Accurate

Remember the scene in Empire Strikes Back where Han decides to tear into the belly of a Tauntaun and stuff Luke inside to save him from Hypothermia? I’m sure that was a pretty horrific and gruesome act for everyone involved, I mean you don’t exactly spend a night inside a dead animal and come out the same person.

Well, now you can relive that lovely scene with the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag. Let the sleeping bag’s 100% Polyester build keep you from freezing just as the warm tissue and organs of space horse would. The sleeping bag also comers detailed with intestinal inner lining, to ensure gruesome accuracy.

Also included is a blue lightsaber zipper pull, which is oriented properly to open the beast’s belly with surgical precision.

The Tauntaun Sleeping Bag is available for $133 from ThinkGeek, and don’t worry, this isn’t just made for the kiddies, even a full grown adult can be stuffed inside.

ThinkGeek ]

MLB Power Rankings: How All 30 Teams Stack Up 1 Month from Spring Training

Are there any sweeter words in the dead of winter than "spring training"?

While we're still roughly a month removed from players making their way to their respective preseason camps in Arizona and Florida, a slow-moving free-agent market should make for a busy final month of the offseason.

For now, it's time for an updated look at how all 30 teams stack up.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Offseason rankings are not meant to be a prediction for the year ahead. Instead, they are a look at how teams would stack up with their current rosters if the season started today.
  • These rankings will be updated several more times until the start of the 2018 campaign, so if your favorite club is lower than you would like, there is still time for improvement.
  • A perfect example of this is the Boston Red Sox. If they add the impact power bat most are expecting them to land before the offseason comes to a close, they will undoubtedly climb in the rankings.

Included for each team is an overview of their offseason to date and what to expect going forward as well as a preliminary rundown of what the 25-man roster might look like if the season started today.

Players listed in bold indicate newcomers. Players listed in italics are not on the 40-man roster. An (R) next to a player indicates his rookie status is intact.

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