Review Category : National Sports

ESPN: Marlins Have an Agreement with Morse

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The Miami Marlins have reached an agreement with free agent Michael Morse on a two-year, $8 million contract, according to ESPN.

ESPN also reports Morse will be able to earn performance bonuses.

The 32-year-old Morse played last season for the World Series champion San Francisco Giants. The right-handed hitter played in 131 regular season games as an outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter, hitting .279 with 16 home runs and 61 RBIs.

Morse has played 10 major league seasons with stints in Seattle, Washington, Baltimore, and San Francisco. He’s a career .281 hitter with 99 home runs and 333 RBIs.

Morse becomes the latest in a flurry of acquisitions made by the Marlins this offseason. Miami signed outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to a $325 million contract, and also traded for second baseman Dee Gordon and pitchers Mat Latos and Dan Haren.

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Jets Defenseman Jacob Trouba Out at Least 6 Weeks

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images(WINNIPEG, Manitoba) — Winnipeg Jets defenseman Jacob Trouba will be out until at least February with an upper-body injury, Jets head coach Paul Maurice said Tuesday.

Maurice did not explain when the injury occurred, but said no surgical procedure will be required.

“He’s had a kind of pre-existing condition that most players deal with and what you’re hopeful for is that it heals and gets better and progresses and he had the opposite experience,” Maurice said. “Things started progressively getting a little bit worse on him and it just got to the point where the only and best way for us to get him back to 100 percent was that we had to shut him down.”

The 20-year-old Trouba was selected with the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft by the Jets. Since then he’s played in 96 games for the team, averaging 22:48 minutes of ice-time with 14 goals and 27 assists.

“It is a big challenge,” Maurice said. “Jake had been a big part of some big goals late in games and he drives the offence and has been part of a power play unit that has been getting better but I think it’s more the defensive concern with the three guys out. All three kill penalties for us so we need to get better in that department.”

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Scoreboard Roundup – 12/16/14

Hemera/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NBA: Washington Wizards 109 (18-6) – Minnesota Timberwolves 95 (5-19)

Miami Heat 95 (12-13) – Brooklyn Nets 91 (10-13)

Memphis Grizzlies 105 (20-4) – Golden State Warriors 98 (21-3)

New Orleans Pelicans 119 (12-12) – Utah Jazz 111 (6-19)

Dallas Mavericks 107 (18-8) – New York Knicks 87 (5-22)

Top 25 Men’s College Basketball: (9) Texas 106 (9-1) – Lipscomb 61 (4-6)

(15) Oklahoma 85 (7-2) – Oral Roberts 53 (4-5)

(24) North Carolina 79 (7-3) – UNC Greensboro 56 (4-7)

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (20-10-3; 43pts) – Philadelphia Flyers 1 (11-14-5; 27pts)

Toronto Maple Leafs 6 (19-9-3; 41pts) – Anaheim Ducks 2 (21-7-5; 47pts)

Montreal Canadiens 4 (20-10-2; 42pts) – Carolina Hurricanes 1 (8-19-3; 19pts)

Columbus Blue Jackets 1 (13-15-2; 28pts) – Detroit Red Wings 0 (17-7-8; 42pts) SO

Florida Panthers 2 (13-8-8; 34pts) – Washington Capitals 1 (14-10-6; 34pts) SO

Winnipeg Jets 5 (16-10-6; 38pts) – Buffalo Sabres 1 (13-17-2; 28pts)

St. Louis Blues 5 (21-8-2; 44pts) – Los Angeles Kings 2 (15-11-6; 36pts)

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Rays Deal Joyce to L.A. Angels for Jepsen

iStockphoto(LOS ANGELES) — The Los Angeles Angels acquired outfielder Matt Joyce from the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday for right-handed reliever Kevin Jepsen.

Joyce was originally selected by the Detroit Tigers out of Florida Southern College in the 12th round of the 2005 MLB draft. He was dealt to the Rays on Dec. 10, 2008 for right-handed pitcher Edwin Jackson.

In seven big-league seasons, Joyce batted .250 with 88 homers and 313 RBIs. He also scored 309 runs and has an OBP of .342.

Jepsen made 74 relief appearances for the Angels last season, posting an 0-2 record along with a 2.63 ERA. He struck out 75 batters in 65 innings of work.

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LHP Chris Capuano Returning to N.Y. Yankees

Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The New York Yankees re-signed left-handed pitcher Chris Capuano to a one-year contract, the club announced on Tuesday. The deal is worth $5 million, according to ESPN.

In 40 appearances last season with the Boston Red Sox and Yankees, the 36-year-old Capuano went 3-4 with a 4.35 ERA. He struck out 84 batters in 97 1/3 innings of work.

Capuano was originally selected out of Duke University by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the eighth round of the 1999 MLB draft. During his 10-year career with the D-Backs, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Red Sox and Yankees, he is 76-87 with a 4.28 ERA. He was named to the National League All-Star team in 2006 as a member of the Brewers.

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Trail Blazers Center Robin Lopez Out Indefinitely with Broken Hand

Ronald Martinez/Getty Image(NEW YORK) — One of the NBA’s best teams will be without its starting center for the foreseeable future as Portland Trail Blazers big man Robin Lopez is out indefinitely after breaking his hand.

Lopez suffered the injury in the third quarter during the team’s game against the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night.

Lopez hasn’t missed a game in nearly three years and established himself as a defensive presence on a Blazers team that has the fourth-best record in the Western Conference.

“It’s a little frustrating,” said Lopez. “I’ve been pretty fortunate with injuries in my career.”

While there is no timetable for his return, head coach Terry Stotts admitted he will “be out a while.”

“He’s a big part of this offense and this team and our identity,” forward LaMarcus Aldridge said of Lopez. “He does so many things that people don’t notice. He’s a hard worker, the guy that does all the things that nobody else really does in the first unit. So it’s going to be tough.”

In 25 games this season, Lopez averaged 9.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game.

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Royals Agree on One-Year Deal with Outfielder Alex Rios

Jason Miller/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — The Kansas City Royals and outfielder Alex Rios are taking a gamble on each other as they’ve agreed on a one-year deal worth $11 million.

With the loss of Norichika Aoki and Billy Butler, the reigning American League champs needed a boost on offense, and they’re hoping that Rios can help fill the void.

An 11-year veteran, the 33-year-old Rios is coming off a down season for his standards. While he did hit .280 in 131 games with the Texas Rangers, Rios was held to just four home runs and 17 stolen bases.

In 2013, Rios hit .278 with 18 home runs, 81 RBIs, and stole 42 bases while playing for the Rangers as well as the Chicago White Sox.

The team also recently agreed on a two-year deal with DH Kendrys Morales to help boost an offense that ranked 14th overall in Major League Baseball in runs scored.

In 2014, the Royals made the playoffs for the first time since 1985.

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Fast Start Powers Cleveland Past Hornets

Christian Petersen/Getty Images(CLEVELAND) — The Cleveland Cavaliers jumped out to a 21-0 lead over New Orleans and pulled away in the third as the Cavaliers (14-9) defeated the Hornets (6-18) 97-88 on Monday night.

It was the third straight loss for New Orleans and the sixth straight home win for Cleveland.

“We had a lull in the second quarter and in the third quarter, which really allowed them to get back in the game, but we sustained the effort for close to 48 minutes,” Cavaliers forward LeBron James said.

The 21-0 lead to open the game is the largest since a 22-0 lead for Portland against Boston in 2004.

“Being 21 down against an elite team on their floor is tough to overcome,” Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. “We played a good enough offensive game to win against a terrific team, but our first-quarter defense was obviously poor.”

Despite trailing 21-0, the Hornets did fight back and closed the gap to within two points. However, after cutting the deficit to 59-57, New Orleans watched as the Cavs went on a 21-9 run to end the third.

James finished with 27 points and 13 rebounds while Kevin Love added 22 points and 28 rebounds for Cleveland. Meanwhile, Kemba Walker led the way for the Hornets, pouring in 24 points while Al Jefferson added 14.

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NFL Injury Update: Foles Ruled Out, Murray Has Surgery

Scott Boehm/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — In the hotly-contested NFC East, both the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles got injury updates on star players Monday. The immediate future of both DeMarco Murray and Nick Foles are up in the air as the two teams head into the final two weeks of the year.

Murray, who fractured his left hand in Sunday’s win over Philadelphia, had surgery Monday to repair the break. The Cowboys have not yet ruled the running back out for this weekend’s matchup with Indianapolis.

“The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is, is he functional to do his job?” said head coach Jason Garrett. “Can he hold the football? Can he carry it under duress? Can he block? Can he do the things necessary to play the position?”

The NFL’s leading rusher, Murray has carried the ball 351 times for 1,687 yards. He is 87 yards shy of eclipsing Emmitt Smith’s franchise record of 1,773 yards set in 1995.

The Eagles announced Monday that quarterback Nick Foles is not yet ready to return to the field.

Head coach Chip Kelly says the broken collarbone is healing, but not enough to handle football contact.

“The bone is not healed,” Kelly added. “He’ll start throwing a little bit more, but he’s out for right now. He’s not cleared and will not play this week. Until he gets fully healed, he’s not going to be able to play with it. We think he’ll be able to throw a little more this week, but we can’t have anyone near him with contact.”

Foles has missed the last six games in which Philadelphia has gone 3-3 with Mark Sanchez at the helm. In the previous eight games he started, Foles threw 13 touchdowns and racked up 1,752 yards. Philadelphia is set to visit Washington on Saturday.

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Saints Roll to Road Win at Chicago

Chris Graythen/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Drew Brees threw for three touchdowns while the New Orleans defense picked off Jay Cutler three times as the Saints (6-8) rolled to a 31-15 win Monday night in Chicago. It was the third straight loss for the Bears (5-9) while New Orleans moved into first place in the NFC South.

“The tendency after success is to relax, and it’s not time to relax,” Brees said.

After a scoreless first quarter, Brees opened the second frame with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Josh Hill. Chicago’s Patrick O’Donnell then pinned the Saints inside their own five with a 56-yard punt but New Orleans responded with a 10-play, 95-yard scoring drive. It ended when Brees hit Marques Colston from nine yards out to make it 14-0 with less than a minute in the half. Cutler was then picked off to end the half.

The second half was much of the same as the Saints continued to control the game on both sides. Brees led New Orleans down the field for another score, finding Hill in the end zone again, to make it 21-0 before a Shayne Graham field goal made it 24-0 heading to the fourth.

Cutler found Marqees Wilson for a 1-yard touchdown, and then converted on a 2-point conversion, to get Chicago within two scores early in the final frame. However, the Saints defense held strong and did not allow another score until the final two minutes, when Cutler hit Alshon Jeffrey for the final touchdown of the game.

Brees finished the day with 375 passing yards, eclipsing the 4,000 yard mark for the ninth straight season. Meanwhile, Cutler only threw for 194 yards and was sacked seven times.

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