Blue Jays nearing deal with Jose Bautista, report says

Jose Bautista could soon find himself back in Toronto.

The free-agent right fielder is nearing a deal that would bring him back to the Blue Jays, according to multiple reports.

MLB.com first reported the details of the contract that are still being negotiated, and a physical is pending. While the club has yet to comment, a deal is expected to be finalized soon.

Bautista, 36, rejected in November a one-year qualifying offer from the Jays worth $17.2 million but hasn’t found many suitors since, in part because of his high asking price and the deep power-hitting market. However, the Blue Jays are eager to retain the franchise icon, especially after losing first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.

Bautista, who has hit above .300 only once in his career, played in only 116 games in the final year of a six-year, $78 million contract with the Blue Jays. He hit .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBIs.

When you look at the initial haul of GM John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan, it isn’t all that splashy. But this group is building a foundation for finding that franchise QB, and molding offensive personnel similar to what Shanny had in Atlanta. Garcon is the Mohamed Sanu-like No. 2, Goodwin is the speedy Taylor Gabriel-like cog, Juszczyk is the sneaky swingman, a la Patrick DiMarco, and Hoyer is the Matt Schaub, a pure backup well-versed in the system.

With Kirk Cousins now likely off the table and Jimmy Garoppolo looking like a very difficult trade target, the focus will be figuring out the right franchise passer to draft and pairing him with Cheap Euro Jerseys a young No. 1-type wideout. The latter still could come in free agency, in the form of Terrelle Pryor.

It seems odd to target the potential Defensive Player of the Year

That point I made earlier about teams scheming away from Kawhi Leonard’s shutdown wing defense didn’t come out of thin air. Here’s a perfect example on a crucial possession late in the Grizzlies’ Game 4 victory:

Portland emerged with a bold plan early on: Ditch the long windups of their Flow offense and attack with their guards off the dribble, even if it meant going right at Green.

It seems odd to target the potential Defensive Player of the Year, but there’s some sense in the approach. If you had to rank Green’s defensive skills, No. 1 would be his ability to read the other nine guys on the court, No. 2 is his shot-blocking, No. 3 are his hands, and No. 4 is his ability to shut down anyone one-on-one. No. 4 is still a special trait, but it’s not quite as dominant or unique as Nos. 1-3. By forcing Green to actually guard their best offensive player, teams negate strength No. 1 and limit the impact of strength Nos. 2 and 3.

So what changed in the other 13 quarters? After a half to process Portland’s approach, the Warriors remembered that the Blazers play three self-checks on the wings in Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Evan Turner. They grew more daring at leaving those players open to flood help to Lillard and McCollum. Even when the Blazers tried to target Green again, he didn’t need to actually stop those guys as much as funnel them into the other Warrior defenders.

Bradford was on track for success after being handed the keys to one of the worst teams in franchise history (1-15 in 2009) and holding his own. During one stretch, he set a record for most passes without an interception for a rookie. The Rams, though, never improved as a franchise, and Bradford was plagued by injuries.

Tebow started the last three games of his rookie season but was used Plain Cheap Jerseys often in the Broncos’ wildcat package. It wasn’t until his second season, after Kyle Orton was benched, that Tebow mania arrived.

The Knicks would simultaneously be bummed to see Fultz and Ball off the board and thrilled to jump up from No. 7 to No. 3.

So the Ball Hogs’ captain is Brian Scalabrine and the coach is Rick Barry. Their roster also lists a “PLAYER X.” That tells me no one else wants to play with Scal and under Barry or that BIG3 has a perfect Scal complement in mind but is waiting for some reason to announce. Paul Pierce could be playing his final NBA game on Sunday, should the Clippers lose. HMMMMM?

Just another league for Ivan Johnson to get banned from. (Please don’t tell him I said that.) The Three-Headed Monsters (seriously guys?) has Jason Williams and Rashard Lewis, and Gary Payton is coaching, so this is already my favorite team.

Finally, a team without the NO. 3 in its name! Power, led by Cuttino Mobley and Corey Maggette, can’t pick Elton Brand because he’s not participating. So they get the best young-ish big man in 34-year-old Warrick.

The Knicks would simultaneously be bummed to see Fultz and Ball off the board and thrilled to jump up from No. 7 to No. 3. The next best thing to a franchise point guard is a young two-way wing like Jackson. He can set the tone defensively and also give the Knicks someone to attack the rim when they have Cheap Baseball Jerseys Kids the ball. If he continues to grow as a ball handler and passer, Jackson could be a borderline All-Star talent.

The Celtics showed how much they value two-way potential when they picked Jaylen Brown at No. 3 last year. Isaac would be another move in that direction. He has quick feet for a 6’11 forward and can hit a catch-and-shoot jumper. His defense should be a safe bet and his offense could make him a star if his skill set continues to develop as he gets older and stronger.

All indications suggest being in a winning situation is what matters.

Utah needed another wing at the time, and Jazz coach Quin Snyder understood Rivers’ situation. The Clippers wanted Ingles, but needed another point guard. That wasn’t Snyder’s problem, though. He just hit the jackpot.

“He’s a settling influence (with) his ability to pass the ball,” Snyder said when Utah signed Ingles three years ago, according to Genessy. “He’s obviously a good fit for our group.”

In two weeks or so, as Utah reflects on a plan gone right and a dream season, the uncertain future will come into view. Until it’s resolved, we cannot count on the Jazz remaining a fixture at the top of the West. Until Hayward and Hill make decisions, we can’t rely on Utah.

Such is the cruelty of sports. You get a glimpse at success, you think you can grab onto it and hold tight, and it slips away. Perhaps Utah will be able to hang onto it. Perhaps not. In two months’ time, the Jazz will be subject to the whims of a 27-year-old millionaire. Such is life in the NBA.

Reading the tea leaves on Hayward seems impossible. All indications suggest being in a winning situation is what matters. Utah is winning now, but it’s been a long seven years. As a restricted free agent in 2014, Hayward met with several teams, eventually signing an offer sheet with Charlotte. (LeBron James’ decision to return to Cleveland derailed Hayward’s Cavaliers recruitment.) Utah matched Wholesale Jerseys From China the offer sheet — they likely would have matched a Cleveland offer, too — and Hayward rejoined the Jazz.

The lockdown corner has the size and speed to contribute his rookie year.

“Conley performed well at the annual showcase in Indianapolis, running a 4.4 second 40 yard dash (14th among DB’s), jumping 37 inches in the vertical (11th), while showing good change of direction in the 3 cone drill, posting a 6.68 second time (5th). It was his performance at the combine that earned him first round buzz for the first time during the draft process. He measured out at 6’0, 195 pounds and fell mid-range with 33 inch arms and 9.5 inch hands.” — Read More at Land-Grant Holy Land

The lockdown corner has the size and speed to contribute his rookie year. He was a big reason the Ohio State pass defense ranked seventh nationally in 2016. He added 20 pounds since high school, which has helped his production. Conley has coveted length — 6’0 with 33-inch arms — and also plays long, helping him excel in outside coverage.

As one of the many talented cornerbacks in this year’s loaded class, Conley needed a big performance at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indy to set himself apart. He ran an official 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash and was a top performer in the 3-cone drill at 6.68 seconds, surpassing expectations and drawing attention from many teams.

It will be the highest draft selection since the franchise moved to Dallas, surpassing the 5th overall pick in 1996 that was used on defenseman Richard Jackman. You’d have to follow the organization’s lineage back to the Minnesota North Stars days to find a time when there was a selection even higher still, all the way back in 1988, when a young phenom named Mike Modano was taken 1st overall. You may Echl Cheap Jerseys have heard of him and the long, impressive career that he would go on to have.

NFL prospect Chad Hansen piled up college numbers, and did it with flair

Late in the first half of a game against Texas last fall, the Cal receiver and 2017 NFL draft prospect beat his man to the corner of the end zone. It was one of his two touchdowns and one of 12 catches for 196 yards against the Longhorns. (Hansen had 92 catches and 1,249 yards for the season, both Pac-12 leading totals.) Upon hauling the ball in, Hansen inverted the Longhorns’ Hook ‘Em hand gesture. The Bears held on to win at home a couple of hours later, aided by some odd officiating.

“I live in a house with a whole bunch of other guys from the team,” Hansen tells SB Nation. “I think we were sitting down and watching someone play Texas. I think it was like an older game, like a throwback game. I think it was probably Oklahoma or something like that, and we saw someone, after they scored or after they won, throw the Horns Down. I just thought, you know, it’d be cool and it’d be funny Cheap US Jerseys for me to do that, and it’d sort of get the crowd into the game. It worked out in my favor.

That was a shameful incident. However, if you give me the choice of standing 90 feet away from Manny Machado throwing a baseball bat at me or standing 60 feet away from Chris Sale throwing a fastball at me, I’ll take the bat every single time, and you would, too.

All Machado is saying is that pitchers have an unfair advantage when it comes to expressing their displeasure, and he’s not wrong.

Like, what if baseball thought it was normal for the batter to charge the mound with the bat, but only if he promised to hold the barrel and whip the knob end towards the pitcher’s toes? Just a real good thwack, right on the ol’ piggies. If a toe gets broken, that’s a shame, but most of the time, there will be sore toes and nothing more. It would send a message.

Con: The Nikita Zaitsev contract probably wasn’t a good one

I like Nikita Zaitsev well enough as a player. He skates well with the puck when he has a mind to, and can be quite effective in the offensive zone. At 6’2’’ he gives the Leafs a bit of size, which is something they don’t have a lot of, and he still managed to maintain a positive penalty differential. Also, he’s a right-handed shot, which is obviously something of a need for the Leafs. At a little under two million on the season in total salary, his first year in the NHL represented a no-brainer gamble for the Leafs, and it paid off.

On the other hand, Zaitsev did not skate the puck out of the Cheap NFL Jerseys Embroidered defensive zone as often as he appeared capable of, and the Leafs wound up conceding a lot of shots while he was on the ice. Lapses in defensive coverage and positioning weren’t altogether uncommon either, and in the end, although he is clearly talented enough to remain an NHL defenceman for some time, he has some significant limitations.

Casey and Alvin Gentry might be unemployed by next week. Who knows with Jason Kidd in Milwaukee or Earl Watson in Phoenix. Patrick Ewing fled to the college ranks, so Jerry Stackhouse might be the next former player up.

Cleveland was cruising until midseason, and finished the year Cheap NFL Jerseys Good Quality just 23-23 in their final 46 games, including four straight losses to give away the No. 1 seed to the Boston Celtics. LeBron James, who somehow quietly averaged 26.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists, is trying to make the NBA Finals for a seventh consecutive season.

Garrett is the first non-quarterback to be drafted first overall since Jadeveon Clowney in 2014.

“Garrett’s biggest strength coming out of college is his ability to get Real Madrid Cheap Jerseys to the QB. He is extremely explosive coming off the edge and a great athlete to say the very least. Garrett racked up 31 sacks in his three-year career in College Station, 11 coming in his freshman season and 11.5 the following year.” — Read more at Team Speed Kills

Garrett is the first non-quarterback to be drafted first overall since Jadeveon Clowney in 2014. Like Clowney, Garrett is a premium pass rusher, which is one of the more valued players in the league today.

Von Miller, Super Bowl 50 MVP and one of the NFL’s best pass rushers, said a couple of weeks before the draft that Garrett should have been the top pick.

“He should be the No. 1 pick,” Miller said. “He is going to be the No. 1 pick.” The rematch of Super Bowl LI has everything a fan could want: great quarterback play, superstars at skill positions on both sides and most importantly, a newly established rivalry between two passionate fan bases. This one’s going to be a blast.

The disproportionate amount of NFC East night games strikes again. Did the NFL forget DeSean Jackson signed with the Buccaneers in free agency?

Worthy had promise, and the Packers saw that in him when Green Bay traded up to take him with the 51st pick in 2012. But injuries kept him from reaching that potential, and he only played in two games in 2013. The Packers cut bait and shipped him off to the Patriots, but he didn’t make it through roster cuts. Worthy is currently trying to get back up to speed with the Bills and played in 13 games for Reebok Cheap Jerseys Buffalo last season.

Getting Nick Saban to yell at Lane Kiffin was Jonathan Allen’s biggest joy

There are few more joyous sights in college football than that of former Bama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin getting in an argument (or should we say an ass-chewing) with his old boss, Nick Saban. It looks like this …

… and the dichotomy of their relationship was one of the most interesting subplots to Alabama’s season. Now Kiffin’s at FAU, and Saban will find someone less interesting to yell at next season.

“A tremendous amount of hard work goes on behind the scenes to prepare for an NFL season and HARD KNOCKS does a great job every year of giving the fans the type of unprecedented access that only NFL Films can provide,” Buccaneers General Manager Jason Licht said. “Our fans will get to know our players, coaches and support staff like never before.”

Licht discussed the show Monday when he was asked whether or not it NFL Jerseys Authentic would be a distraction if the team was indeed selected.

“In terms of being a distraction, I think we’re wired to where we would be able to minimize that,” he said. “Dirk [Koetter] has been through it. Mike Smith has been through it and I’ve heard positive things from them.”

Licht added that he was confident in the maturity of the team, and felt good about the players. “I know we have some great personalities on our team starting with Jameis [Winston], Gerald [McCoy], the list goes on and on, [linebacker] Kwon [Alexander].”

Then I got to that fifth game, and everything started to make a little sense. Against Cheap Jerseys Wholesale Online Utah, statistically, McKinley had one hell of a day. Three sacks, three hurries, two tackles for losses, and two other tackles: I mean, it doesn’t get much better than that. That’s some hellafied production.

That being the case, maybe had I watched the Utah game first instead of last during my first viewing, I’d have a more positive opinion of him when watching the other four games, which might have then colored my perception a little more on the positive side.

2017 NFL mock draft: Cleveland Browns pick Teez Tabor

Oh look, it’s the Cleveland Browns back up in the SB Nation NFL writers’ mock draft. In their first three picks from Dawgs by Nature, the Browns got defensive end Myles Garrett, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, and safety Budda Baker.

Johnson was the Texans’ first pick in their second ever NFL draft. He started in 169 games for the team from 2003 through 2014 as he racked up 13,597 yards, and 64 touchdowns with the team on 1,012 receptions. During that time, he had 133 consecutive games with a reception.

Cleveland has 11 picks this year, including two first-rounders for the fifth time in franchise history. With that many picks, it should be impossible not to come out of the draft with a bright future. But years of bad drafting have left Cleveland fans, and everyone else, skeptical that the Browns can get it right this time.

“Collecting all these draft picks, it’s going to be hard to, in my opinion, screw it up,” said Jeff Simmons, a lifelong Browns fan. “But if any one franchise can do it, it’s the Browns.”

Draft day failures are the reason they haven’t had a winning campaign in nine seasons. Their selection struggles go back even further than that. The Browns have been using the draft to set themselves back since 1999, when the team returned to Cleveland and took quarterback Tim Couch with Cheap Jerseys USA Soccer the Cheap Jerseys Stitched first overall pick. Couch never panned out, and he was the first of 26 quarterbacks to start for the Browns over the past 18 seasons.

Clockwise from the top, I’ve attempted to take you from physical attributes to efficiency to explosiveness/risk/decision-making to mobility. I love radars as easy-to-understand visuals that combine style and quality. A large surface area doesn’t automatically make you better than someone with a small surface area, but if someone checks a surprising number of boxes, it makes him worth reassessing.