Cubs 'leading contender' to land Joe Maddon
Joe Maddon | TB
(October 24, 2014 1:57 PM EDT)
FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cubs are viewed as a "leading contender" to bring Joe Maddon aboard as their manager.
ESPN's Buster Olney and CBS Sports' Jon Heyman have also listed the Cubs as a possible landing spot for the former Rays skipper. Rick Renteria is under contract with the Cubs through 2016, but Rosenthal notes that the club has the money to simply buy him out of his deal. President Theo Epstein interviewed Maddon for the Red Sox' manager job in 2003 before he decided on Terry Francona.
Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
Sam Shields listed as doubtful
Sam Shields | GB
(October 24, 2014 1:46 PM EDT)
Packers RCB Sam Shields (knee) is listed as doubtful for Week 8.
He didn't practice all week and won't play at the Superdome. It's an upgrade to Drew Brees' fantasy matchup in Sunday's projected shootout versus Green Bay.
Giovani Bernard listed as probable
Giovani Bernard | CIN
(October 24, 2014 1:42 PM EDT)
Giovani Bernard (ribs) is listed as probable for Week 8.
Bernard is averaging 3.39 YPC on the season if you leave out his 89-yard touchdown run in Week 6 against the Panthers. He's also on pace for fewer receptions than he had as a rookie. With A.J. Green (toe) listed as doubtful and Marvin Jones on I.R., the Bengals will need Bernard to step up his play to have a chance to stay competitive in Sunday's clash with Baltimore.
Maddon opts out contract, will leave Tampa
Joe Maddon | TB
(October 24, 2014 12:28 PM EDT)
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that Rays manager Joe Maddon has exercised an opt-out clause in his contract and will leave the club immediately.
Wow. Maddon said just over a week ago that he "absolutely" wanted to remain the Rays' manager following the departure of Andrew Friedman, but he had a change of heart after extension talks with the club fell apart. The natural assumption was that he'd follow Friedman to the Dodgers, but CBS Sports' Jon Heyman and FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal both say it's not going to happen. Maddon will obviously be a hot commodity for anyone considering a change at manager. Bench coach Dave Martinez is a likely option to succeed Maddon in Tampa.
Buster Olney on Twitter
Teams to monitor Chase Utley's availibility
Chase Utley | PHI
(October 24, 2014 12:14 PM EDT)
ESPN's Buster Olney reports that teams are going to monitor Chase Utley closely this offseason to see if he becomes available via trade.
Utley would have to approve any deal, and he's expressed a hesitancy to do so in the past. However, the Phillies don't seem particularly close to contending, so perhaps the soon-to-be 36-year-old will have a change of heart over the winter. Utley hit a solid .270/.339/.407 with 11 homers and 78 RBI this season and would no doubt draw plenty of interest from around the league if he's placed on the trade block.
Buster Olney on Twitter
Infante taking Toradol for shoulder pain
Omar Infante | KC
(October 24, 2014 11:01 AM EDT)
Omar Infante has been taking oral doses of Toradol in order to combat nagging pain in his right shoulder.
Toradol is a controversial pain-killer that has been banned by some teams and in some countries, but Major League Baseball considers it legal. "I feel better, because I’m taking strong pills," Infante said. "That’s helped me a lot. I feel it a little bit in B.P., and I still feel sore in the front of my shoulder. But yesterday I felt more comfortable." Infante could have minor surgery over the offseason to repair his shoulder issue, but he'll gut it out for now.
Kansas City Star
Kaneko has been scouted by three teams
Chihiro Kaneko | INT
(October 24, 2014 10:21 AM EDT)
Japanese right-hander Chihiro Kaneko has been scouted by the Phillies, Red Sox and Padres, according to a report from Yahoo! Sports Japan.
Slated to turn 31 in a couple weeks, Kaneko is eligible to be posted this offseason and is actually visiting the United States during the World Series to get a feel for the atmosphere of Major League Baseball. Kaneko is the ace of Nippon Professional Baseball’s Orix Buffaloes and is coming off a season where he put up a 1.91 ERA and 194/41 K/BB ratio over 184 innings. He holds a 2.69 mark over nine pro seasons and would surely cost a pretty penny if he winds up being posted this winter.
Yahoo! Sports Japan
Miguel Cabrera undergoes surgery on ankle
Miguel Cabrera | DET
(October 24, 2014 10:00 AM EDT)
Miguel Cabrera underwent surgery Wednesday to remove bone spurs from his right ankle and repair a stress fracture in the navicular bone at top of his foot.
It had been known that Cabrera dealt with bone spurs down the stretch, but the stress fracture is a new revelation. The slugger will be re-evaluated in three months, so there would seem to be a chance that he'll be slowed at the beginning of spring training. Barring a setback, however, it shouldn't affect his availability for Opening Day.
Jason Beck on Twitter
Lincecum's (back) MRI comes back clean
Tim Lincecum | SF
(October 24, 2014 9:02 AM EDT)
An MRI on Tim Lincecum's back showed no structural damage.
Lincecum was forced from Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday due to back pain and a precautionary MRI was ordered. He reported improvement Thursday and was able to do some throwing in the outfield at AT&T Park. The right-hander is expected to be available out of the bullpen for Friday's Game 3.
San Francisco Chronicle
Brian Roberts posts 19 points in 41 minutes
Brian Roberts | CHA
(October 23, 2014 9:37 PM EDT)
Brian Roberts handled the point guard spot for 41 minutes against the Pacers on Thursday with 19 points, five assists, two steals and three 3-pointers.
He led the NBA in free throw percentage last season and the Hornets picked him up to play backup point guard. Roberts made all 15 attempts from the free throw line in the preseason and has been solid from the field this month, but he's not a fantasy option while Kemba Walker (knee) is active.