efender Virgil van Dijk says Gini Wijnaldum is a k

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right fielder posted the only hit of the game for the Mets in Saturday’s spring finale against the Orioles. The 1-for-2 day gives Byrd a .357/.393/.571 line to close out the Grapefre full of confidence ahead of today’s Copa del Rey final.Barca meet Valencia as they chase the Double.”This game is very important to us because it bringrry Winks is pleased with the support of England assistant coach Steve Holland.Winks is “a player we have very much been waiting for”, according to Holland. The midfielder told the London Evening Standard: “The whole game is about dealing with prs the opportunity of winning another double and bringing another trophy to the club, which is whauit League season.

Byrd, who secured a spot on the team’s 25-man roster Friday, could see regular playing time this season in a Mets outfiham will hand manager Mauricio Pochettino a bumper transfer kitty this summer.The Sun says Pochettino will be handed a £100million transfer kitty this summer at Tottenham.Spurs failed to spend a penny in the past two windows, but have still managed eld without many appealing options.

evy.Spurs have conceded 10 goals in heavy defeats

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Sometimes, I can get behind drafting a player I know I’m going to have to stash on the DL to begin the season, but I’m having a hard time doing it with . Unlike, say, Corey Hart, his injury doesn’t present him with a clear timetable and could impact his performance even after he returns.

He’s not even throwingtalks with Barcelona for Ivan Rakra Ferrer had held the position for the past two years. It’s the third time he’s left Betis – twice as coach.A rift between Serra Ferrer and the other vice president, José Miguel López Catalán, had become insurmountable. Their disagreement sparkeditic.Sport says United have approached Barca about a price for Croatia international and been informed they’re prepared to sell.However, Rakitic himself will need some persuading to leave Spain this summer.The 29 year off a mound yet, so I’m not holding my breath on him returning before May. And seeing as the shut has been delighted playing alongside Harry Maguire at the heart of Manchester United’s defence.The pair have been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-choice centre-back pairing this season.Speaking from the club’s warm-weather camp in Marbella, Lindelof saihim down midway through last season with an injury he probably could have come back from, I’m thinking they have no interest in rushing him.

rested in re-signing Arsenal fullback Hector Belle

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Afterounced the first-team squad and coaching staff will donate their wages from last Friday’s humiliating 9-0 loss to Leicester to the charity Saints Foundation.Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side created unwanted history by being thrashed by the Foxes at St. Mary’s being signed to a minor-league deal with the earlier this week, was informed that he earned a spot on the bullpen to start the season, e German’s team have impressed in the first weeks of the season.Farke told Sky Sports: “EacRay Parlour has urged Arsenal to sell Mesut Ozil in January.But the Gunners hero can’t see him leaving the club.“He won’t be sold in January so no chance of that because Ozil won’t go nowhere,” Parlour told talkSPORT.“Should he be sold? Yes, he should be.“If you’re not going to play him on a regular basis you might as well get rid of him, yeah.”h and every head coach has their own ideas and philosophy. This club had a clear picture of what I would bring, and I was aware of what Norwich City means. I daccording to the Los Angeles Times. Lowe finished spring training with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 10 2/3 innings of work. 

pions League victory.Lorenzo Insigne came off the

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pitcher will attempt to solidify his role in the team’s rotation Tuesday.

Cuique Setien is being linked with Watford.Quique Sanchez was sacked by the Hornets earlier this week.Sport says Setién is one of the men the Hornets are keen on along with Roger Schmidt, Chris Hughton, Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce. Hayden Mullins iashner will get the start against the Giants, and could win the fifth spot in the rotation based on how he performs. He’s been limited to just six innings this spring, after injuring his thumb during the offseason. 

Cashner is builg tracked by Swanseated on AC Milan and Inter plans to build a new stadium.He said, “These are lovely projects, I am sure it’ll be a modern and beautiful arena. “We are fond of San Siro because we won everything there, every spectator gets a good view and I hope that and Bristol City in the Championship plus clubs in Germany should he be made available on a short-term deal.The Sun says Kop boss Jurgen Klopp will weigh up whether allow Brewster out to get regular football for the second half oding up his arm strength this spring, and only went 2 2/3 innings in his last start. If he can build up his arm strength, Cashner would be the likely candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, according to CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. If he’s unable to do that, he would build up innings as a long-man in the pen, or in Triple-A, and rejoin the team’s rotation after a few weeks. 

admits they face losing Bruno Fernandes.The midfi

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The pared down their roster Sunday, reassigning pitchers and to their minor-league camp. Gilmartin is viewed as on44-year-old had been head of the club’s academy since 2016.The former United midfielder ool striker Rhian Brewster says Virgil van Dijk deserves to be crowned as FIFA’s Ballon d’Or winner.Seven of their players have been nominated for the FIFA Ballon D’Or, with van Dijk and Firmino appearing alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Mowill report to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will be tasked with creating “a seamless journey for young players stepping up to the next level”.”Manchester United is ine of the club’s top pitching prospects and will open the season in the rotation for Tribian Delph after his blow-up on social media.The Toffees midfielder had a spat with some fans on Instagram after Ancelotti’s side were embarrassed by Liverpool’s kids in the FA Cup. Speaking in his pre-match press-conference before Everton’s home tieple-A Gwinnett.

chdays of the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBan

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There’s no denying first baseman  has had his struggles against left-handed pitchers the last two seasons. He hit .163 against lefties in 2011 and .174 off lefties last season, but it hasn’t always been that way for the 25-year-old slugger. Davis hit .295 against lefties as a rookie in 2010 and manager Terry Collins feels Davis is getting back to that level of success. 

“Ike has spread out his stance a little bit,” Collins tcontract offer from Southampton, according to reports.The Dane is out of contract in 2021 and has recently paired up witotti wants to land an experienced target-man and has recommended Torino captain Andrea Belotti to Everton football chief Marcel Brands.Goal says Toro could be prepared to sell the 26 year-old striker after the Euros.Everton are watching developments,h super-agent Pini Zahavi.This move fuelled speculation that the midfielder could join Spurs this summer.But the Daily Echo says told ESPN. “He’s taking much better swings against left-handed pitching — much better, which I think is going to really help him on the production side, because he sees a lot of them.

“Every time there’s a lefty coming in, I’m going to try to make sure he’s in that game to see some of them. I just think he’s made some good adjustments at the plate.” 

Davis is having a strong spring, batting .364 (12 for 33) with one homer, ter Milan boss Antonio Conte has jumped to the defence of Alexis Sanchez.The on-loan Manchester United striker made his full debut in victory over Sampdoria with a goal and red card, with second yellow for diving.Conte said, “Some things were said three doubles, four RBI and seven runs in 13 spring games.

ty attacker Kevin de Bruyne says David Silva deser

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The Royals announced Tuesday they optioned pitchers aned the winner in Nigeria’s 1-0 victory over Guinea in the African Cup of Nice they want to sell.AC Milan and Roma are keen on bringing Seri to Serie A.”We know that there is a lot of talk about Milan for Seri. At this moment, I can only say that we’ll wait and see,” agent Franklin Mala told Calciomercato.com.“We’d take tations on Wednesday.The Chelsea defender’s 73rd minute header made the Super Eagles the first time to qualifingham Forest have signed Wolves striker Rafa Mir on a season-long loan.The 22-year-old helped Spain win the European Under-21 Championship this summer, having spent last term on loan at Spanish second division side Las Palmas – where he scored seveny for the last-16 stage.Omeruo rose like a colossus above the Guinead to Triple-A Omaha. The team also optioned pitcher to Northwest Arkansas.

was in a witty mood with journalists after his sid

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Mariners outfielder hit leadoff for averpool chief Damien Comolli isn’t surprised by Michael Edwards’ success as sporting director.His work is credited with bringing in a host of top stars for Jurgen Klopp, including Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Andy Robertson an second straight day during Wednesday’s spring game against the Royals. The Mariners continue to look at numerous players in the leadoff spot. “I think everybody else thinks it’s a little more novel than I actually do,” Bay said, per The Seattle Times. “It’s going to be the same as if I’m hitting fourth, fifth, or eighth. I’m just going to be doing the same thing.” Bay has been pleased with his spring results. “I’m surprised with how comfortable I’ve been early on,” er Ryan Fraser is “keeping his options open”.Fraser’s existing deal expires at the end of the season and he has been linked with a free transfer to Premier League leaders Liverpool.emmens says getting the season completed by the end of June is crucial.Semmens stressed the importance of completing the season by the end of June, when a host of players from various clubs are set to be out of contract.He added that getting such pla”In terms of his contract, that’s obviously for him to decide what hehe said. “Usually in spring training — whether I’m doing really well or haven’t done so well — spring training has always been where the first couple of weeks I’ve been a big timing guy. You can bust your butt all winter but you can’t simulate the timing. And that’s the one thing where I work really on just the swing and getting that down to where ‘OK, I feel good about that.’

art with Arsenal.The Ivory Coast international bec

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Angels rotation candidate made it five full innings on WednChampionship Swansea City have rejected a £15m bid for striker Oli McBurnie from Premier League newcomers Sheffield United.Swansea are fighting to hold on to the 23-year-old, who scored 24 goals last season as the Swans finished 10th.The Championship club are only likely to consider selling McBurnie if they receive a bid in excess of £20m.esday in a his style to adjust to manager Frank Lampard’s demands.The of the world. Another show of contempt. And the reaction from the board at Manchester United is to reward Paul Pogba with a £200,000-a-week pay-rise…Well, that’s the latest coming out of the London press today. Rather than show some backbone. Soe 27 year-old’s midfield responsibilities appear to have changed this season under Lampard, even if his position on the pitch has not altered too much.Jorginho explained to chelseafc.com: “We Cactus League start against San Diego. The veteran hurler gave up two earned runs on the afternoon over five hits and no walks as he lowered his spring ERA to 3.86. Blanton struck out two in the performance and has now given up three earned runs this spring over seven innings with four Ks.

Report: Vladimir Guerrero seeking minor-league deal

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Outfielder Vladimir Guerrero is attempting a comeback and looking for a minor-league deal, to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.

Guerrero, 38, signed a minor-league deal with the last season, but he only played in 12 minor-league games before asking for his release. His last significant role was in 2011, when he played in 145 games wletico and Inter Milan are interested in the veteran, with the La Liga club believed to be preparing a bid.Atletico boss Diego Simeone wants to add an experienced midfielder to his squad and believes Matic fits the bill.Coughing up a fee would suit Uith the . 

That season, Guerrero hit .290/.317/.416 w defender, 17, joined this summer from PEC Zwolle.Van den Berg told NOS, “When I just came in, I was nervous. You could see that. “Now it’s normal. I have a good relationship with the trainer (Jurgen Klopp). He said I shouldn’t be in a hurry and justith 13 home runs in 590 plate appearances. It was a precipitous drop from his .318/.379/.553 career line. Guerrero was mainly used as a DH ima.The striker joined Leipzig on loan with option to buy this season.However, his injury problems have continued in Germany, where he has managed to make only two appearances so far.Pavel Paska, Schick’s agent, says a return to Roma could happen.“Hn 2011, and might have a better shot signing with an American League team. 

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Pirates camp report: Youngsters like Cole expected to help turnaround

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BRADENTON, Fla. — Bob Nutting starts talking about winning the World Series, and no doubt plenty of people start laughing. Or sighing.How about winning more games than you lose?

But the owner is right.

More on Spring TrainingRelated links | More on Pirates | | | | More coverage | | |

The goal can’t be just having a winning season, no matter how many losing years you’ve had in a row. The goal can’t be just to end the streak.

The Pirates should be thinking about winning World Series.

And that’s where Gerrit Cole comes in.

There’s no way to know for sure exactly what Cole will become. There’s no way to know for sure how soon he’ll become it.

He may not help the Pirates at all this year. Barring something crazy happening this spring, he’s going to start the season in the minor leagues. While the Pirates believe he could debut (and could make an impact) a few months later, there are no guarantees?

So why does he matter, for a team where the owner is demanding “a step forward” this season?

Simply because if your goal really is to win a World Series, you need to find and then develop talents like Gerrit Cole.

Somehow, in the 20 months since the Pirates made Cole the first overall pick in the June 2011 draft, he’s been pushed out of our thoughts by other guys from that draft. His UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer has already debuted in the big leagues, already been traded and already been raved about.

Meanwhile, as strange as it seems for someone taken with the first overall pick, Cole doesn’t get the same hype. Even some of his teammates laugh at the idea that a No. 1 draft pick can be under the radar, even as they agree that Cole is just that.

He probably shouldn’t be.

“Pure stuff, he’s jaw-dropping,” says Jameson Taillon, the Pirates’ other big pitching prospect. “I charted him some last year, and you see that 92 mph slider, the 101 mph fastballs … it’s like a video game.

“I think once Gerrit gets his shot, he’ll blow people away.”

The way general manager Neal Huntington puts it, the Pirates “haven’t closed the door completely” to Cole making the team out of spring training. But the Pirates think of themselves now as an organization that is cautious in promoting prospects (as opposed to the one that previously pushed up before he was really ready).

“The worst reason to bring [Cole] to the big leagues is that we need him,” Huntington said. “I’d rather be a week too late tven Gerrard’s side lost 3-1 at home to Bayer Leverkusen in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.It means Gers will have to go to Germany and overturn a two goal deficit if they are to progress into the quarter finals.Leon Bailey gave Leverkusen than a month too early.”

Huntington believes in Cole, Taillon and his other prized prospects. The organization believes in the prospects so strongly that the Pirates backed away from a proposed trade for Chase Headley last July, even though the team seemed to need a boost and even though it wasn’t going to cost them either Cole or Taillon.

Huntington also believes in his current roster, and in the small improvements he was able to make to it over the winter. He believes in new catcher (“One of our scouts said we didn’t just make one position better, we made half the team better”), and he believes in and and Alvarez and .

“We have a group that’s very hungry,” Huntington said.

They have a group that for now has one true star (center fielder ), and a lot of players who are better than the ones the Pirates had 3-4 years ago.

Everyone in camp reminds you that the 2012 team won as many games as any Pirates team in the last 20 years, even though that number was only 79. Everyone reminds you that the Pirates have improved by 22 wins in two years, even though they know that the owner is right when he says the goal has to be winning World Series, not winning 82 games.

There’s a tendency with bad teams to think that improvement necessarily comes in steps, but that’s not always true. Years ago,seille midfielder Maxime López has revealed an approach from Barcelona.Lopez admits Barca were in contact two years ago.”In the summer of 2017, the sports director of Barça ( Robert Fernández) spoke with my agent, who said there was interest in th the Braves became a great team overnight, going from last place in 1990 to the World Series in 1991.

More recently, the same thing happened with the Tigers, who had a streak of 12 consecutive losing seasons that ended with a team that went to the World Series.

Nutting isn’t going to spend the way Mike Ilitch did in Detroit, but there is one comparison between those Tigers and these Pirates: a high-end, hard-throwing young but unproven pitcher drafted by Greg Smith.

Maybe it’s not fair to compare Gerrit Cole to Justin Verlander. But in both cases, Smith chose a college pitcher who wasn’t a finished product, bypassing others who he believed would get to the big leagues sooner for one he was convinced had a real chance to end up being better.

“There’s some roughness around the edges, and I like that,” Smith said. “Because it means there’s more in there.”

Smith said if you re-ran the 2011 draft today, he’d still take Cole, even as others have gotten more attention and have already begun big-league careers.

“Oh, absolutely,” he said. “I haven’t wavered at all.”

Cole himself admits he notices the other guys in his draft class. He and Bauer were college teammate appoint a new manager.Hartson believes caretaker Freddie Ljungberg, who was appointed after Unai Emery’s dismissal, is not the man to steady the “sinking ship” and says the Arsenal board must act quickly — like Tottenham did.He told The Sun: “s, but they were never particularly close.

“I don’t think we focus on each other very much,” Cole said.

He knows Bauer and others have had higher profiles. He should also know that Verlander didn’t have the highest profile in his draft class in the months before he debuted as the 2006 American League Rookie of the Year.

In that spring of 2006, Baseball America ranked Verlander as the eighth-best prospect in the game. He was third among pitching prospects, behind and Chad Billingsley.

This week, Baseball America released its 2013 prospect rankings. Cole was seventh.Verlander ended that 2006 season in the World Series.

I’m not saying Cole is Verlander, and I’m not saying the Pirates are going to the World Series.

But getting the most out of talent like Gerrit Cole is the way they could get there.

Report: Twins starter Scott Diamond iffy for opening day

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starter , who underwent arthroscopicnext season.Griezmann revealed last month that he would finally leave after teasing at a move away last summer.Barcelona are the front-runners to sign Griezmann but he has also been linked with the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United s elbow surgery earlier in the offseason, , Lavelle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported Friday.

Diamond, 26, required surgery to remove a bone chip in his left (throwing) elbow. He was the Twinhe wants to leave this summer.The Sun says Manchester United had a £70million bid rejected for the England star yesterday — with the Foxes wanting £85m.But centre-back Maguire has now made it clear that his future now lies elsewhere next season.Ms’ best starter last season with a 3.54 ERA (115 ERA+), 90 strikeouts and 31 walks in 173 innings. Diamonde without England striker Harry Kane, who is ruled out until April with a hamstring injury that requires surgery.Mourinho says the club need to sign a replacement this month if the right target becomes available.”Lots of names are coming and the majo’s 1.6 BB/9 led the American League.

If he can get healthy in time, Diamond may have the inside track as the opening day starter for the Twins. His stiffest competition will come from new additions and , both of whom posted ERAs over 4.00 in 2012.

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ce Luis Suarez insists he has no problems knowing

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The New York Post reports Mets starting pitcher , who was shut down last August because of a back injuryat Youri Tielemans will grow in importance at the club.The summer signing from Monaco, who spent the second half of last season on loan at the club, is still finding his feet after rejoining.And Maddison believes that as they get more training sessio and concerns regarding his surgically repaired shoulder, is expected to throw Wednesday. “He says he feels great,” manager ham is a fan of his team.Beckham told Pochettino he wished he was playing for Spurs after watching them demolish Crystal Palace 4-0. “I was talking with Beckham after the game and he said he wished he still played and that he played for Tottenham becTerry Collins said. “He is well-rested and said [the layoff] was real good for him, so I’m expecting him to come in, and he said he’ani Ceballos is attracting Bundesliga interest.Ceballos has been told by Real coach Zinedine Zidane he should find himself a new club this summer.The midfielder is being linked with Tottenham, though a future in Germany could be on for the Spain U21 s ready to pitch like he’s capable of pitching. As long as his arm feels good, he will give us the innings.”

ormer U-17 coach Carlos Amadeu believes Rodrygo Go

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MLB.com reports Cardinals outfielder said Sunday the shoulder strain that plagtegui is eager to work in England next season.Currently a free agent, Lopetegui has had his agents circulate his name around the Premier League and major clubs in the Championship.The former Porto coach lost his job at Real before Christmas after beiued him in 2012 is no longer an issue and he declared himself “100 percent.” Jay said he was able to perform a normal workout program this offseason after team doctors c plan more major spending.United spent £140million in the summer bringing in defenders Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as well as winger Daniel James.But United wer’s loving the relegation battle.Villa travel to Watford today for the third of their crucial Christmas fixtures. Smith said: “I, perversely, quite enjoy it. I’d rather be fourth in the league and have that pressure but, being third bottom, let’s go ae languishing in 12th spot heading into their 1-1 draw with table toppers Liverpoleared him before heading home for the winter.

Dodgers, Ryu Hyun-jin far apart in negotiations

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(Getty Images)

The have until 5 p.m. EST on Sunday to negotiate a contract with Korean left-hander Ryu-Hyun jin. However, CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman reports that Ryu, who is represented by Scott Boras, and the club are far apart in their talks and that those talks are likely to con Samir Nasri has been flooded by offers from around the world.While he failed to win a new deal with the Irons, the six months he enjoyed at West Ham was enough to put him in the shop window.Foot Mercato says several Ligue 1 clubs have made contact, tinue right up until the deadline.

Boras has previously said his client projects as a third starter in the U.S. majors and . The Dodgers have already paid a posting fee of $25.7 million to Ryu’s Korean team in exchange for a 30-day negotiating window, but that fee would be returned to admits he was desperate for his first win as Arsenal manager. The Gunners appeased their new boss with a 2-0 victory over Manchester United on New Year’s Day.Speaking after the game, Arteta said: “It feels great, incredible; I’m so happy and proud ofthe Dodgers in the event they fail to reach an agreement with Ryu. By the sounds of things, that’s a distinct possibility.

In seven seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, the 25-year-old Ryu boasts a 2.80 ERA and a WHIP of 1.15. He’s also struck out 1,238 batters in 1,269.0 Spanish tennis champ Rafa Nadal.Emery likes to unwind by taking to the court and admits that he admires the mentality of Nadal, having read the world number two’s autobiography.”I read his book and I know some things about his history and he is work innings pitched.

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