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The Hot Stove season is underway, and we’re keeping you up to date with the latest free-agent news, trade buzz, rumors and more.

• Hot Stove Tracker
Astros interested in Napoli
The Astros are interested in free agent first baseman/designated hitter Mike Napoli, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Napoli, who turned 35 at the end of October, hit .239/.335/.465 with a career-high 34 home runs and 101 RBIs for the American League champion Indians in 2016.
Houston has already made some significant moves this offseason, signing free agent catcher Brian McCann and right fielder Josh Reddick.
Currently, the Astros’ depth chart has Yulieski Gurriel at first base, with A.J. Reed seen as the future at the position but perhaps not ready for everyday action at the big league level. Gurriel may also play left field, however, if George Springer plays center, with Reddick in right.
Other teams that have shown interest in Napoli are the Indians and Mariners.
Mariners asked about McCutchen
The Mariners inquired about Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen earlier in the offseason, according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. The talks, however, “did not advance.”
The 30-year-old McCutchen is coming off the worst season of his Major League career, hitting .256/.336/.430 with 24 home runs and 79 RBIs in 2016. He’s owed $14 million in 2017 and has a team option of $14.75 million in 2018, with a $1 million buyout.
The Mariners’ outfield situation — in which left-handed-hitting Seth Smith, Leonys Martin and Ben Gamel are the likely starters but in a platoon arrangement with right-handed hitters Danny Valencia, Guillermo Heredia and designated hitter Nelson Cruz — remains fluid.
Adding McCutchen could solidify that to a large extent, as he could become the everyday starter in left or right field.
FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reported a couple of weeks ago that the Nationals also discussed McCutchen with Pittsburgh last summer.
Dodgers interested in Forsythe
The Dodgers are interested in versatile Rays infielder Logan Forsythe, according to Morosi. Los Angeles has needs at second and third base after the departure of Howie Kendrick in free agency, and the pending free agency of Justin Turner.
Forsythe, who turns 30 in January, has played the majority of his career at second (456 games), but has also played at third (56 games), including nine games there for Tampa Bay last season. He hit .264/.333/.444 with 20 home runs (a career high) and 52 RBIs in 2016.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman traded for Forsythe while he was Rays general manager in 2014.
Blue Jays looking at Fowler, Eaton
The Blue Jays are now looking for a left-handed-hitting leadoff man with a high on-base percentage, and free agent center fielder Dexter Fowler is one possibility, according to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi on Friday.
Signing Fowler would more likely serve the Blue Jays as a replacement for potentially departing free agent outfielder Michael Saunders, rather than Jose Bautista or Edwin Encarnacion.
Toronto could also look into acquiring White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton via trade, Morosi reports, as a different option besides Fowler.
Fowler put together an All-Star season for the Cubs in 2016, helping them win their first World Series since 1908. He hit .276 with 13 home runs, 13 steals and a .393 on-base percentage during the regular season and had several key hits in the postseason, including a leadoff home run in Game 7 of the World Series.
Across town, Eaton batted .284 for the White Sox this season with a .362 on-base percentage, as well as 14 homers, 14 stolen bases and an American League-leading nine triples, and he was one of the top defensive outfielders in the game.
Rays looking into Pearce reunion
The Rays have expressed “serious interest” in a reunion with free-agent utility man Steve Pearce, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The Rays join at least two other clubs — the Blue Jays and Mets — in a bid for the 33-year-old Pearce, who signed a one-year, $4.75 million deal with Tampa Bay prior to the 2016 season, before being traded to the Orioles at the Trade Deadline.
Pearce hit .288/.374/.492 in 85 games last season, his 10th in the Majors. Before the trade to Baltimore, he hit .309/.388/.520 in 60 games for the Rays. Pearce had a career year with the Orioles in 2014, when he posted a .930 OPS with 21 home runs and 49 RBIs in 102 games.
Yankees looking at power hitters, including Encarnacion, Beltran
The Yankees are pursuing several of the top designated hitters on the free-agent market, including Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran, sources told MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman on Thursday.
The Yankees saved $11.5 million per year after dealing Brian McCann to the Astros Thursday afternoon and are looking for candidates to fill the void.
Heyman reports the Yankees have checked in on Yoenis Cespedes, Jose Bautista and Mark Trumbo in addition to Encarnacion and Beltran, who was traded from the Yankees to the Rangers on Aug. 1.
Beltran hit 22 homers with New York before hitting seven more with Texas in 2016. Encarnacion (42) finished behind only the Mariners’ Nelson Cruz (43) and Trumbo (47) for the Major League lead in home runs in 2016.
Kinsler could be on the move
Kinsler could be on the move
The guys from MLB Tonight discuss the possibility of the Dodgers acquiring Ian Kinsler from Detroit and what he would bring to Los Angeles
Dodgers working on deal for Kinsler?
The Dodgers have emerged as a possible landing spot for Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler. MLB Network’s Jon Paul Morosi reported Wednesday that the Tigers have discussed the possibility of dealing the 34-year-old veteran to Los Angeles.
While the Dodgers have an opening at second base, Kinsler is seen as the second-most likely Tiger to be traded — J.D. Martinez being the most likely — as Detroit tries to trim its payroll. However, any deal would have complications beyond simply agreeing on a return package. Kinsler has a 10-team no-trade clause, with the Dodgers being one of the teams on the list. Kinsler will ask any team on that list to at least pick up his $12 million club option for 2018, and likely extend him beyond that, as agent Jay Franklin told MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal. That’s a big reason why the Tigers’ front office has kept Kinsler in the loop on trade possibilities.
It’s unclear what the Tigers would receive in return, but Morosi noted Detroit has interest in Dodgers top prospect Cody Bellinger as a young left-handed power bat. Bellinger, 21, hit .271 with 26 home runs through 117 games with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa this year.
Kinsler would provide a much-needed boost for the Dodgers lineup against left-handed pitching, something they struggled with in 2016. The Dodgers hit just .213 against southpaws last season, while Kinsler is batting .306/.372/.507 vs. lefties for his career. He also won a Gold Glove in 2016.
Cespedes market narrows
The market for prized free-agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes is down to the Mets and three other teams, according to the New York Post.
Cespedes and his advisors expect the slugger to sign with a club in early December, the Post reported.
Jason Castro drawing interest from multiple clubs
Free-agent catcher Jason Castro is drawing interest from five teams, and he has multiple offers on the table, according to a report Wednesday from SB Nation.
The Braves are among the most serious bidders for the catcher, according to ESPN.
Castro, 29, batted .210/.307/.377 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in 113 games for the Astros in 2016.
Braves going big-ace hunting
After signing R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon, the Braves aren’t done solidifying their rotation. Atlanta has shown interest in White Sox ace Chris Sale, and it’s asked about right-handers Chris Archer of the Rays and Sonny Gray of the A’s.
The recent additions of Dickey and Colon give the Braves the ability to deal one or two of their young arms, if need be. The club would still have plenty of pitching depth, and those prospects would have yet another year to develop.
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman is reporting that the Braves are showing strong interest in a deal for Sale, who is owed a reasonable $38 million over the next three seasons.
Mr. Sale goes to Washington?
The Nationals have inquired about White Sox left-hander Sale, according to a report by USA Today, and the Braves are also among the teams showing strong interest in him, MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported.
The White Sox haven’t had any serious discussions about trading Sale, but Chicago is possibly headed for a rebuild this offseason. The five-time All-Star has three years and just $37.5 million remaining on his contract (a team option for the final two years).
Sale went 17-10 with a 3.34 ERA in 2016, racking up 233 strikeouts after leading the American League with 274 in ’15.
If the Nationals were to acquire the 27-year-old, he would be inserted into a starting rotation that currently includes National League Cy Young Award finalist Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross.
Tigers, Giants discuss Martinez deal
The Tigers and Giants have discussed a possible trade involving Detroit outfielder J.D. Martinez, sources told MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi.
Morosi reported that the talks occurred at the General Managers Meetings last week and have not advanced beyond the initial stage.
Martinez is signed for a reasonable $11.75 million for 2017 and can be a free agent following the season.
The 29-year-old hit .282 with 38 home runs and 102 RBIs in 2015 while being named to the American League All-Star team and earning a Silver Slugger Award.
Martinez missed a month an a half with a broken right elbow in 2016 but still managed to hit .307 with 22 homers and 68 RBIs in 120 games.
J.D. Martinez on the move?
J.D. Martinez on the move?
MLB Now discusses the possibility of the Giants acquiring outfielder J.D. Martinez from the Tigers
Nova has offers in hand
Right-hander Ivan Nova has received multiple offers for around three years and $36 million, his agent told MLB Network Radio on Sunday
Nova’s agent, Greg Genske, didn’t specify which teams have offered his client or if they’re waiting for a better deal.
Nova, who turns 30 in January, closed the season impressively after being traded from the Yankees to the Pirates. He was 5-2 with a 3.06 ERA in 11 starts for Pittsburgh, including three complete games. He was 12-8 with a 4.17 ERA in 32 games (26 starts) overall.
Nova is 58-41 with a 4.30 ERA in seven seasons with the Yankees and Pirates.
Both New York teams interested in Logan
The Mets and Yankees are two of a handful of teams interested in free-agent lefty Boone Logan, according to The New York Post.
Logan, 32, rebounded from two subpar years in Colorado to post a 3.69 ERA in 66 games for the Rockies this season.
Logan previously pitched for the Yankees from 2010-13, posting a 3.38 ERA with 202 strikeouts in 176 innings in that span.
Logan has a 4.45 career ERA in 11 seasons with the White Sox, Braves, Yankees and Rockies.
Logan ends 7th-inning threat
Logan ends 7th-inning threat
With runners on first and second base, Boone Logan strikes out Odubel Herrera swinging to preserve the lead and end the top of the 7th
Holland eyes turnaround with Pirates
Free-agent pitcher Derek Holland has expressed interest in signing with the Pirates, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, though the club has not extended a formal offer to the veteran left-hander.
Holland’s agent Michael Martini confirmed Saturday that Pittsburgh is “on our short list,” which makes sense given the way the Pirates (and specifically pitching coach Ray Searage) have been able to turn around the fortunes of veteran pitchers. Recent examples include A.J. Burnett, J.A. Happ and, most recently, Ivan Nova, who went 5-2 and saw his ERA drop nearly two full runs after he was traded to Pittsburgh by the Yankees at the 2016 Trade Deadline.
It’s unclear if the Pirates share a mutual interest in signing Holland, who has made only 35 starts over the last three seasons while battling various knee and shoulder injuries. The southpaw does share a connection with manager Clint Hurdle, who was the Rangers’ hitting coach in 2010 when Holland helped Texas reach the World Series.
Holland, who turned 30 in October, struggled to a 7-9 record and 4.95 ERA in 2016 — his highest rate since his 2009 rookie campaign — while starting only 20 games. His 38.3 percent ground-ball rate in ’16 was also a career low.
“We’d prefer a guaranteed spot,” Martini said, “but Derek is not afraid to compete for a job. We’ll see how the market develops, but we would be open to a one-year deal.”

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Sunday, November 20, 2016, is a day that will live in infamy for NFL place kickers.
On 12 different occasions Sunday, a kicker lined up for an extra-point attempt following a touchdown and walked away empty-handed. Two kickers — Mike Nugent and Robbie Gould — missed a pair of PATs in the early games on Sunday. The 12 misses represent the most we’ve ever seen in one week, breaking the record of 10 that had stood for 46 years. There have been seven Sundays when 10 kicks were missed — most recently in Week 2 of the 1985 season — but never before now had we seen more than that.

The new record comes with a significant caveat: Until last year, PATs came from a distance of 17 yards out. In 2015, the NFL started spotting the ball at the 15-yard line — making it a 32- or 33-yard attempt. So missing these quicks isn’t quite as embarrassing … but it’s still pretty damn bad.

And if you’re not entirely on-board with this, “Hey, let’s give kickers a bigger role in determining the outcome of games!” hook, well, yeah … just know you’re not alone.

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Mike Trout and Kris Bryant were born 150 days apart and, relatively speaking, not that many days ago. Both of them played the 2016 season at age 24. But their inherent youth hasn’t stopped them from making history on the field of play and, on Thursday night, in the Baseball Writers’ Association’s Most Valuable Player Awards unveiling.

The Angels’ Trout is now a two-time American League MVP, with the rest of his first five full seasons also well-represented by three second-place finishes. No player has ever had a career start with that much acclaim. And the Angels finishing 21 games out of first place in the AL West didn’t stop Trout from finishing first in the AL MVP.
• All-time MVP winners
And the Cubs’ Bryant followed his unanimous selection as last year’s National League Rookie of the Year in fitting fashion with a near-unanimous selection as the NL MVP, with 29 of 30 voters putting him in first place. Only three other players — Cal Ripken Jr., Ryan Howard and Dustin Pedroia — began their careers with the rookie award and the MVP award in sweet succession, though two others (Fred Lynn and Ichiro Suzuki) did win them simultaneously.
The MLB Awards — following league-specific recognition by BBWAA voters, whose ballots are based on regular-season play — include candidates from both leagues (with postseason performance taken into consideration). MLB Awards are based on votes by retired players, broadcasters/reporters, team executives, Society of American Baseball Research members and fans, with each group accounting for 20 percent of the process. Esurance MLB Awards week concludes Friday on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET. MLB Awards categories include Best Major Leaguer, Hitter, Pitcher, Rookie, Executive and Manager.
Bryant wins 2016 NL MVP Award
Bryant wins 2016 NL MVP Award
Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant is honored with the 2016 BBWAA National League Most Valuable Player Award
But what’s really special is what Trout and Bryant accomplished together. This marked the first time in history that both MVPs were 24 or younger (Trout didn’t turn 25 until August, so 2016 qualifies as his age-24 season).
“It means a lot to the game,” Trout said. “There’s a bunch of young guys in the league that are making the game good for the fans and exciting. It’s great for baseball.”
NL MVP voting results
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
Kris Bryant, Cubs 29 1 415
Daniel Murphy, Nationals 1 11 10 6 1 245
Corey Seager, Dodgers 11 10 7 2 240
Anthony Rizzo, Cubs 3 4 10 10 202
Nolan Arenado, Rockies 3 6 6 11 199• Complete voting results
The Cubs were the best team in baseball, steamrolling the NL Central with 103 wins en route to the franchise’s first World Series title in 108 years. So it was no surprise to see one of their own honored.
Bryant became the ninth Cub and the first since Sammy Sosa in 1998 to win the MVP. Bryant beat out fellow finalists Daniel Murphy of the Nationals and Corey Seager of the Dodgers. Bryant led the Cubs in home runs (39), runs (121), hits (176) and OPS (.939) while leading the NL in Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement calculation (7.7). His versatility had tremendous value, as he became the first player in history to win the MVP in a season in which he started games at four different defensive positions (third base, left field, right field and first base).
The only first-place MVP vote that didn’t go to Bryant went to Murphy. Bryant would have been the first player in history to win both the Rookie of the Year and the MVP awards unanimously. He’ll have to “settle” for being the first player ever to win, in succession, the Golden Spikes Award, the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year award, the Rookie of the Year honor and the MVP.
Oh, and he mixed in that World Series title, too.
“It’s all downhill from here,” Bryant joked. “I look forward to really enjoying this this whole offseason. I don’t know if this whole year will ever happen again.”
Bryant finished with 415 points in the MVP vote, with Murphy finishing second at 245 and Seager at 240. Bryant’s teammate, Anthony Rizzo, finished fourth in the voting (202 points), and the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (199), the Braves’ Freddie Freeman (129), the Reds’ Joey Votto (100), the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes (45), the Dodgers’ Justin Turner and the Nationals’ Cy Young winner Max Scherzer (39) rounded out the top 10. Bryant, Murphy, Seager, Rizzo and Arenado were the only players listed on all ballots.
• Complete 2016 Awards coverage
Far more intrigue resided in the AL, where it was an open question whether the voters would side with Trout by virtue of his astounding individual numbers or defer to Boston’s Mookie Betts out of respect to his impact on a division winner.
Trout a two-time MVP winner
Trout a two-time MVP winner
Mike Trout earned his first AL MVP award after a stellar 2014, and after starring again in 2016, Trout picked up his second MVP honor
Trout’s Angels won just 74 games, and that “stat” was the only real knock on his candidacy. He led the Majors in runs scored (123), walks (116), on-base percentage (.441) and WAR (10.6). He finished second in the AL in OPS (.991) and tied for second in steals (30).
Entering the announcement on MLB Network, Trout didn’t know what to expect. The surprise when he won registered in his reaction.
“At the end of the season, a lot of people were asking me, ‘If your team has a losing record, is it going to hurt you in the MVP?’” Trout said. “With this MVP, I guess it doesn’t matter.”
Nineteen voters were unaffected by the standings, and they allowed Trout to become the first member of a non-postseason entrant to win the AL MVP since Alex Rodriguez (Rangers) in 2003.
AL MVP voting results
Player, Team 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Points
Mike Trout, Angels 19 8 1 1 356
Mookie Betts, Red Sox 9 17 4 311
Jose Altuve, Astros 2 15 11 2 227
Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays 2 9 7 6 200
Manny Machado, Orioles 5 7 150• Complete voting results
Trout, a five-time All-Star who also won the AL Rookie of the Year prize in 2012, is now the sixth player to win two MVPs before the age of 26, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He joins Barry Bonds as the only players to finish first or second in the MVP voting in five consecutive seasons. Bonds finished second to teammate Jeff Kent in 2000 then rattled off four straight NL MVPs from 2001-04.
“It humbles you, it’s an unbelievable honor,” Trout said. “Just a little bit ago, I as a little kid in high school. Now the chance to win a second MVP, it means a lot to me and my family.”
To claim his second MVP, Trout had to beat out Betts, who garnered nine first-place votes and 311 points to Trout’s 356. Betts tied his teammate Pedroia for second in the AL in batting average (.318) and was second in hits (214), tied for third in doubles (42) and fourth in RBIs (113). He trailed only Trout in WAR (9.6), and there was some thought that playing for the AL East champs might push Betts ahead of Trout in the voting.
The Astros’ Jose Altuve finished third in the voting with 227 points. The Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson (200), the Orioles’ Manny Machado (150), the Red Sox’s David Ortiz (147), the Rangers’ Adrian Beltre (135), the Mariners’ Robinson Cano (79), the Indians’ Francisco Lindor (56) and the Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera (56) rounded out the top 10, with Trout, Betts, Altuve, Donaldson, Machado and Ortiz named on every ballot.
Ortiz, whose Major League-leading 1.021 OPS finished his career with a flourish, joined Beltre as the only players not named Trout or Betts to receive a first-place vote. They received one apiece.
But Trout and Bryant were the story. This was a night in which youth was served.
“We’ve got some older guys going out like David Ortiz,” said Bryant, “and it’s up to us to fill their shoes.”

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Alex Killorn had a goal and assist and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s offence showed no ill-effect from missing captain Steven Stamkos in cruising to a 4-1 over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.
Nikita Kucherov, Nikita Nesterov and Brayden Point also scored, and Valtteri Filppula set up two goals with no-look passes in helping the Lightning win their third straight and improve to 6-2-1 in their past nine. The spread-out offensive contributions came in Tampa Bay’s first game since Stamkos tore a ligament in his right knee during a 4-3 win at Detroit on Tuesday.
During the game at Buffalo, the Lightning announced Stamkos had surgery and is expected to miss four months.
Cody Franson scored for Buffalo, which dropped to 0-4-2 in its past six. It’s a stretch in which the team’s offence has dried up in managing just six goals.
The Sabres face far bigger issues on the injury front. They’re playing without two top-line forwards, Ryan O’Reilly (mid-section) and Jack Eichel (left ankle), and two regular defencemen, Zach Bogosian (knee) and Dmitry Kulikov (lower back).
Kucherov’s goal with 18 seconds remaining in the second period proved to be a backbreaker for Buffalo. It allowed the Lightning to reclaim a two-goal lead after Franson had cut the margin with a power-play goal seven minutes earlier.
Killorn pounced on a turnover in Buffalo’s zone and fed Kucherov, who drove to left circle. Kucherov then snapped a shot that beat goalie Robin Lehner, who was screened by Tampa Bay forward Tyler Johnson.
Aside from Franson, who became Buffalo’s first defenceman to score a goal this season, the Sabres couldn’t buy a goal despite numerous chances against Ben Bishop.
Bishop made 32 saves, his best coming a little over three minutes into the second period to clean up his own miscue. Stopping the puck behind his own net, Bishop inexplicably sent a pass through the middle and directly on the stick of Sabres forward Kyle Okposo, who snapped a shot at the wide-open net.
Bishop, however, scrambled back and dived across the crease to glove the shot.
Sabres defenceman Rasmus Ristolainen beat Bishop by slipping a shot through his legs only to have the puck dribble wide of the left post.
Filppula showed off his play-making skills on Tampa Bay’s first two goals.
Eluding two Sabres defenders in the right circle, Filppula drove across the middle and made a nifty no-look back pass to Nesterov, who snapped a shot into the open left side to open the scoring 8:15 in.
In the second period, Filppula drove up the right wing and fed a pass through the middle to set up Killorn’s power-play goal.

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Shohei Ohtani didn’t throw a pitch for Japan during four exhibition games against national teams from Mexico and the Netherlands at the Tokyo Dome. He still was the talk of the weekend — to no one’s surprise.

Ohtani, the Nippon Ham Fighters’ pitcher/designated hitter dynamo, is one of the world’s most sought-after baseball players — in both roles. Major League Baseball executives are eager for the Fighters to post Ohtani, which is unlikely to happen until after the 2017 season at the earliest.
MLB Now on Shohei Ohtani
MLB Now on Shohei Ohtani
On MLB Now, the crew talks about Shohei Ohtani and his chances of getting a $300 million contract in MLB
In the meantime, the 22-year-old Ohtani is preparing to star for Japan at othe upcoming World Baseball Classic. On Sunday, that meant hitting a baseball into orbit … or at least a hidden region of the Tokyo Dome’s roof. When the ball didn’t return to Earth, the play was ruled a ground-rule double.
Ohtani, appearing as a designated hitter and pinch-hitter, finished the weekend 5-for-11 with one home run, three doubles, three walks, five runs scored and many new admirers.
Ohtani’s versatile skill set
Ohtani’s versatile skill set
The Hot Stove crew breaks down Japanese star Shohei Ohtani’s versatile skill set as a pitcher and hitter
“The hype on Ohtani is off the charts, but he is the real deal,” Mexican manager Edgar Gonzalez told me. “He ran a 3.9 [seconds] to first on a ground ball, and he has major power.”
Gonzalez’s younger brother was impressed, too; Adrian Gonzalez made the trip with the Mexican national team, even though the Dodgers didn’t clear him to play. And the five-time All-Star left Ohtani with a gift:
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
Follow
Puro Beisbol @PuroBeisbolUSA
What a great detail from @Adrian_ElTitan to Japan’s star, Shohei Otani, by giving him his autographed jersey with a message included.
11:51 AM – 12 Nov 2016 · Mérida, Yucatán
29 29 Retweets 55 55 likes
More highlights from Japan
Japan earned a pair of extra-inning victories over the Netherlands and went 1-1 against Mexico. Dodgers No. 3 prospect Alex Verdugo starred for Mexico, going 1-for-4 with an RBI double in Thursday’s victory and also homering on Friday.
Verdugo, a second-round Draft pick in 2014 from Tucson, Ariz., posted a .743 OPS at Double-A Tulsa this year. He projects to be Mexico’s center fielder in the World Baseball Classic.
“Verdugo has been very impressive,” Edgar Gonzalez said. “He never gets cheated when he swings. He is always ready to hit and at the same time is able to stay on offspeed pitches. I thought his weakness would be [inside], but [on Friday] he pulled his hands on an inside fastball and turned on it [for the home run].”
Verdugo on time at Fall League
Verdugo on time at Fall League
Dodgers prospect Alex Verdugo discusses his professionalism and approach at the plate during his time at the Arizona Fall League
Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar was the most recognizable MLB name on the Dutch roster; he started at shortstop on Saturday and second base on Sunday, going a combined 2-for-8 with two runs scored.
The Netherlands’ WBC infield should be dynamic; Andrelton Simmons, Xander Bogaerts, Didi Gregorius and Jonathan Schoop are eligible to compete, in addition to Profar.
Impact of Arenado’s decision
Nolan Arenado will play for Team USA, as first reported Sunday by MLB.com’s Thomas Harding, in a choice that will impact roster construction for both the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Traditionally, Team USA has not carried more than one everyday player at a given position. So with Arenado’s commitment, it’s difficult to envision Josh Donaldson or Evan Longoria on the team unless one is comfortable in a DH role. Similarly, Kris Bryant likely would need to play an outfield corner — where he started 48 times this year for the Cubs (36 in left, 12 in right).
Arenado to compete for Team USA
Arenado to compete for Team USA
Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado reveals he will play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic
Third base might’ve been the toughest position for general manager Joe Torre and manager Jim Leyland to evaluate. Kyle Seager and Justin Turner surely merited consideration, too, coming off brilliant seasons. Just think how difficult the decision might’ve been if Manny Machado — born in Hialeah, Fla. — hadn’t decided to play for the Dominican Republic.
Arenado also was eligible to play for Puerto Rico, which pursued him determinedly, but manager Edwin Rodriguez can be quite satisfied with his existing infield options. Javier Baez and Francisco Lindor could be the double-play combination, with Carlos Correa at third base and Kennys Vargas or T.J. Rivera at first.

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Travis Kelce’s laundry-tossing antics have cost him more than just an ejection.

The Chiefs tight end was fined $24,309 for unsportsmanlike conduct, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Friday.

Kelce was ejected from Sunday’s win over the Jaguars after he was called for unsportmanslike conduct and responded by throwing his towel in the air like an official would a flag. He earned a second unsportsmanlike conduct in as many seconds, which constitutes an ejection, and lost nearly $25K in the process.

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Klay Thompson figured it would just be a matter of time until his outside shot started falling again. That time came in the first quarter.
Thompson hit his first seven shots and scored 18 of his 20 points in the opening period, and the Golden State Warriors cruised past the undermanned Dallas Mavericks 116-95 on Wednesday night.
“I feel it’s coming every game, honestly,” he said. “I won’t let missed shots dictate how hard I play. As long as I play hard, I know I’ll be successful. It’s that simple.”
Kevin Durant led Golden State with 28 points, Stephen Curry added 24 and Draymond Green had 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Warriors used their outside shooting to build a 19-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points to lead Dallas in his first game against the Warriors since leaving as a free agent last summer. But he didn’t get nearly enough help.
“The first half it was kind of like a deer in headlights,” he said. “It was kind of like the scouting report went out the window and we were just out there playing. Once guys settled in we did a much better job.”
Thompson had been in a bit of a shooting slump to start the season, making just 11 of 53 3-pointers in the first seven games. But he returned to form from the start in this one. He hit four of Golden State’s eight 3s in the opening quarter during a span of just more than 2 minutes.
“It was good to see him get the 3-point stroke going,” coach Steve Kerr said. “He started off on fire. It didn’t carry over the rest of the game, but he had a tremendous first quarter. You can see it coming. It’s absolutely coming with Klay.”
Durant got going after that and extended the lead to 67-34 in the final minute of the first half with his own shot from long range.
The Mavericks managed to cut the deficit to 13 early in the fourth quarter but never really threatened Golden State the rest of the way.
TIP-INS
Mavericks: Starting guards J.J. Barea and Wesley Matthews and C Andrew Bogut got the night off on the back end of a back-to-back. … Dallas has lost eight straight in Oakland.
Warriors: Durant scored at least 20 points for the 72nd straight regular-season game, tying Michael Jordan for the fourth-longest streak ever. … Curry left briefly in the third quarter after tweaking his right ankle. He got it taped and came back into the game.
REUNION
The game marked a return to Oakland for Barnes and Bogut, who left in the off-season after the Warriors signed Durant. They both got long ovations before the game and a video tribute in the first quarter for their roles in winning the NBA title in 2015 and a record 73 regular-season games last season.
“The fans here are phenomenal,” Barnes said. “They showed love ever since my rookie year up until my last year here, so it was very nice.”
BROTHERLY LOVE
With Barea sitting, Seth Curry got the start for Dallas and a matchup with big brother Steph. They guarded each other when both were in the game and Stephen hit a 30-footer over Seth in the second quarter. Seth had 10 points and nine assists.
“It’s always a good time when we’re matched up against each other,” he said.
SPREAD THE WEALTH
Thompson, Durant, Curry and Green all hit four 3-pointers for the Warriors. The Elias Sports Bureau said it’s the first time a team had four players hit at least four 3s in one game.