Is 2013 A.J. Burnett’s swan song?


starting pitcher may be calling it quits after the 2013 season.

“I know it’s going to come up,” Burnett said, . “These guys [teammates] keChristmas party this season.Bruce says the players are ‘sensible enough’ to know ‘there isn’t enough time’ to have a Christmas party this year because of the Magpies’ packed fixture schedule.”I don’t think there will be time for a Christmas party, buep getting on me about it. They keep saying, ‘Two more [years]! Two more!’ I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Burnett is 36 and in the last year of a five-year, $82.5 million contract he signed with the Yankees before the 2009 season. H has been given a warning about his move to Chelsea this past week.The Ajax midfielder will join the Blues this summer and found himself struggling against a physical Getafe for Thursday’s 2-0 Europa League defeat in Madrid.Van der Gijp reasoned: “Yoe was traded to Pittsburgh before last season.

There are a few more reasons he might be ready to hang up the cleats for good. In the story, Burnett mentions his two kids, who are 12 and nine ywill return after the international break.The pair have missed the last two weeks of action.”Yeah, they’re not ready for tomorrow,” the manager revealed ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Bournemouth.”Probably after the international break. That is alwears old. Personal accomplishment won’t likely keep him in the game, as he already has two World Series rings, a win in the World Series and a no-hitter under his belt. He’s also 29 strikeouts from 2,000 on his career, so he’ll get there this season. Anything beyond that is likely unattainable.

Also, Burnett will have made more than $120 million in his career.

Add it all up, and it’s easy to see why this could be Burnett’s last year.

Worth noting: Burnett told that if he did keep playing, he wouldn’t want it to be anywhere but Pittsburgh. It could be lip service, but that’s what he said.

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ester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Daniel


is not yet officially on the ‘ roster as the deal has not been announceEverton boss Marco Silva has told Moise Kean to forget his critics.Silva has dismissed Graeme Souness’ comments after the Sky Sports’ pundit speculated that Juventus s Marcus Rashford is back to his best.The striker scored in England’s 4-0 win over Kosovo on Sunday.The former Red Devils captain told on ITV: “Brilliant, brilliant goal. What a finish. He is back to his best. “It was a lovely play, nice and simple. sold Kean this summer because his “off-field activities are not the best”.But the manager told the Liverpool Echo: “I heard something.“My people told me and our media people also but I don’t want my players to see, read or pay attention to this situation.“I don’t lose my focus with this situation. Ok, some managers, some people talking on TV and on radio as well, it is their opinion and we have to respect opinions, don’t lose focus, keep doing your work and keep believing in your players.“For me it is not an important thing and I don’t want our players to lose their focus and lose energy with this situation because it is not something you can control.”d, the Journal News reports Tuesday. That said, Wells already has a locker and is listed in a batting practice grouping for New York Tuesday. He expects to playtbid eachother for Benfica whiz Joao Felix.The Sun says City boss Pep Guardiola is determined to land the youngster regardless of whether Leroy Sane stays at the Etihad.The 19-year-old shot into the consciousness of Europe’s elite this season after b against the Astros Tuesday night in a Grapefruit League night game. 

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sit a hurting Valencia team in Saturday afternoon’


third basemann hit his fourth home run of the spring Wednesday against the Angels.

Chisenhall, who added another hit to finish 2-for-3 on the day, is now batting .410 in 39 spring at-bats while only striking out four times. While spring stats are hit-and-miss as a predictor for breakout performances, Chisenhall’s hot start should cere focusing on three young signings this summer.The Times says City have identified Rodri, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka as their first-choice tra Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.The Sunday Post says Sturridge is a potential target for Rangers with the club ready to cash in on Alfredo Morelos.The Colombian bagged 30 goals for Steven Gerrard’s side last season and has made no secret of his dnsfer targets – while a summer clear-out is also expected.With Fernandinho now 34, Atletico Madrid’tainly pique the interest of AL-onlyudetto and broke several records in his first season in Italy last term.But pundit Frederic Hermel told RMC: “For me, the information that comes to me from the entourage is that he knows he made a mistake by going to Juventus. “He would have liked to fantasy competitors.

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tral role for their Carabao Cup win at Manchester


Diamondbacks pitcher pitched what amounted to five innings in a “B” game at the team’s facility in nearby Scottsdale on Sunday. He gave up one hiut on Ajax defender Matthijsr United.The 37-year-old has embraced his new role and admits he is learning all of the time, as he explained to us during the club’s recent end-of-season awards night at Old Trafford.“I was ready to finish playing, I’d had enough,” Carrick told ma de Ligt this summer.Barca have been in talks with the De Ligt camp for much of the season and there has been a confidence they would welcome him this summer.However, Mundo Deportivo says the Catalans have been rattled by t over four innings and struck out three, although he was given an extra out each inninghis red card.Alexis scored and saw red in victory over Sampdoria.“We played a good game, I don’t think it should’ve been a red card, but we soaked up pressure and did well,” Brozovic told Sky Sport Italia.“Conte says what we need to do in every t. Kennedy has already been named the opening day starter for Arizona.

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erb start to the season.Sterling has gone from str

content_img reports Mariners starter pitched in a minor-league intrasquad game on Monday. He allowed three runs on 1, Luiz has spent the past season away on-loan due to work permit problems.The Manchester Evening News says Luiz made 20 starts and seven substitute appearances in a season which saw him suffer with injuries, and also saw the club relegated.He has bee0 hits over five innings of work. Ramirez year-old starred under Lampard at Derby County last term, before returning to become a vital player for the Blues.But Mount says he wasn’t guaranteed a spot in Lampard’s side when he returned to Stamford Bridge this summer.He said: “I hadn’t had a fualso struck out seven with no walks while throwing 70 pitches. ready to bid for Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.The Sun says Mignolet, 31, lost his place in Jurgen Klopp’s team this season following the arrival of Alisson Becker – but has attracted interest from Eddie Howe.Howe is ready to offer regular Prem

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boss Jurgen Klopp admits Harvey Elliott won’t be


After being sidelined since Sunday due to a mild intercostal (is season.Emery says he is happy with their progress, despite facing the prospect of missing out on the top four.He stated: “Yes I am. Our progred a warning at Liverpool defender Joe Gomez a day before Monday’s furious England clash.The Mirror says Sterling warned Gomez ‘don’t f**k with me’ during their heated exchange in Sunday’s Premier League game.The pair clashed towards the end of Cityress I think – when we started the season we lost against Man City and Chelsea and we worked for this procerib) injury, Tigers outfielder returned to the lineup for Friday’s Grapefruit League game against the Mets. H Barcelona ahead of their Champions League showdown.Victory over Slavia Prague last night means Inter are still in with a chance of reaching the knockout phase – if they beat Barca at San Siro in a fortnight’s time.Conte declared: “We stayed alive ine went 1 for 3 with two strikeouts in the 6-2 loss.

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Tim Lincecum scratched from Saturday’s start due to blister


right-hander has been scratched from Saturday’s start due to a blister along the nail of his right middle finger. notes this is an annual issue for the two-time Cy You Aguero is desperate to help Lionel Messi win his first international trophy with Argentina.Barcelona star Messi is yet to win a major trophy with his country.Ahead of this summve Bull has backed Raul Jimenez to become the club’s all-time Premier League record goalscorer.The Mexican has 15 to his name, seven behind Steven Fletcher’s record of 22.Bull told the Express & Star: “Easy. He should do that with absolute ease.”er’s Copa America, Aguero told FOX Sports: “I’m more anxious to be a chamng award winner and not a huge concern.

“It’s not too terrible,” said Lincecum to . “It’s just hot and sensitive like it gets here. I’ll just play it day by day and see how it feels. I don’t want to complicate the issue and make it worse. I don’t want it to be anything that will keep me from the season.”

Lincecum, 28, skipped his usual between-starts bullpen session and instead played catch, which he’ll do again on Saturday. The righty got hit pretty hard by the Dodgers in his first Cactus League outing on Tuesday, but by the way the ball was coming out of his hand.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and ped by Manchester United.United released McNeil at 14 because his set pieces were deemed not good enough.He said, “It was quite an upsetting time for me. It was my boyhood club of my dreams. I’m still a United fan now despite what happened.”Going to .

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sia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has professed his


Padres catcher returned to the lineup for Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the A’sttl felt a denied penalty claim for Danny Ings was the difference for their 4-0 defeat at Liverpool.The visitors, though, were well in the game until Alex Oxlade-Chamberlairpool fullback Andrea Dossena can understand Paulo Dybala stalling on a move to Manchester United.The Juventus striker is the subject of intense negotiations with United, thoug fun playing with the club’s attacking players.The Brazilian is tasked with protecting the back four and starting attacks for the Reds.His early passes to the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane are often the start of Liverpool counter attacks.And h is hesitating about the move.”It’s all in his head. Obviously if he was n’s opener two minutes into the second half, which came moments after Southamp after being scratched the day before due to a sore wrist. He went 0 for 3 with a strikeout in the 11-6 loss.

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Nationals, Jordan Zimmermann avoid arbitration with one-year contract


The and starter have avoided arbitration with a one-year contract, the club announced Friday.

Zimmermann, 26, posted a 2.94 ERA (134 ERA+) in 195.2 innings in 2012, career bests in both categories. He continued to sport excellent control after red be expected that it’s taking time for the players to adjust to coach Maurizio Sarri’s system.Sarri took charge this season after five years of Max Allegri at Juve.“There were some tactical certainties we could rely on after five years with Allegrturning from Tommy John surghelan has made a second check on Birmingham City teen Jude Bellingham.The Sun says United aim to stay on the trail of Birmingham starlet Bellingham, 16.United co former club Chelsea in Sunday’s London derby.Asked whether he can get over playing his former club Chelsea, he said: “Yes, of course. I can but maybe others can’t but I can. For me it’s a game.”I am 100 per cent Tottenham, I’ve always been 100 per cach Phelan has again checked on the midfielder, though Blues do not plan to lose him in tery in 2011. He walked just 2.0 batters per nine innings after walking just 1.7 per nine innings in 2011.

Zimmermann will earn $5.35 million for the 2013 season, the club announced.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from bloggers ,  and , follow .

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ventus midfielder Juan Cuadrado would be happy if


The San Jose Mercury News reports Giants third basn to football at Malaga.Calderon was seen in talks with Malaga officials this week.”I will not be president of Malaga,” he reacted. “Ien Hazard is growing frustrated over talks dragging on with Real Madrid for his signing.The Chelsea-Transfer-News-Eden-Hazard-Real-Madrid”>Daily Express says Hazard went public about his feelings after the 0-0 draw with Leicester, and tt Reading.A youthful-looking Wolves team overcame the challenge of finishing with ten men and conceding in the ninth minute of injury time to progress in the competition. Real Madrid loanee Vallejo told the club’s website: “I think it was a very imhe fact that h don’t want to go back to football. I am simply advising and contributing my grain of sand to try to help a club andeman said he’s fully recovered from an intestinal issue that plagued him this offseason, but he isn’t worried about it. Sandoval was hospitalized in Venezuela in mid-January, according to the Oakland Tribune.

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Gio Gonzalez and the suspension question


(Getty Images)

, the may be looking at Kyle Lohse for one very simple reason. Here’s :

But their rotation calculus changed with the news that may face a 50-game suspension for his reported ties to the Biogenesis clinic, forcing them to consider contingencies in the event they lose their best left-hander for two months.

In the event Gonzalez receives a suspension, or even to prepare for the possibility, the Nationals may try to swoop in and sign free agent right-hander Kyle Lohse … 

So the question before the reigning NL East champs is this: How likely is Gonzalez to be discplined?

On the first day of camp, Gonzalez repeated his stern denials, saying he was “stunned” and “shocked” to be named in the Biogenesis documents. He said he has “never taken performance-enhancing drugs and … never will,” (source: ). Gonzalez’s fathd.Van Dijk was speaking before Liverpool’s Club World Cup triumph over Flamengo on Saturday.He said: “At almost every club, you find that there are lots of different little groups in a squad.“But this Liverpool bunch is ­phenomenally close togeter was a patient at Anthony Bosch’s controversial clinic, but that should have no bearing on perceptions about Gio Gonzalez’s guilt or innocence in this matter.

However, even if you don’t take Gonzalez at his word, there’s ample cause to believe disciplinary action is unlikely. For instance:

Gonzalez, unlike, say, Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, isn’t plainly linked to banned PEDs in the Biogenesis files, at least in those documents that have been publicly disclosed. Moreover, unlike Ryan Braun and Francisco Cervelli, Gonzalez hasn’t admitted to having any kind of relationship with Biogenesis.While has the latitude to discipline players in the absence of a positive test for a banned substance, players are still free to appeal any ruling and have the case heard by an arbitrator. In that environment and under these particular circumstances, MLB might have a hard time proving wrongdoing on the part of Gonzalez to the satisfaction of an impartial party.What might also make things difficult for MLB — agaieves that Gareth Southgate is spoiled for choice in forward positions.The Three Lions boss can call on the likes of Harry Kane, Tammy Abraham, Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling or Jadon Sancho for the forward positions in his starting line ups.Ashton n, assuming Gonzalez did anything whatsoever in violation of MLB’s Joint Drug Agreement — is that the Miami New Times, which is in possession of all those Biogenesis documents, may not be inclined to share said documents with MLB. , the New Times has been engaged in discussions with MLB to this end but thus far they’ve resisted entreaties to hand over their files. Without those files, it’s hard to imagine MLB’s building an actionable case against Gonzalez.If you want to read the tea leaves a bit more closely, then it’s worth remembering that . If that culture holds, then it’s unlikely they’ll be cooperating with MLB to any meaningful extent. 

In the end, it’s of course prudent for the Nats to plan as though Gonzalez may be facing a lengthy suspension, but this is one of those cases in which everything must go in a very certain direction in order for such a scenario to play out. The educated guess here is that, in the end, the Nats won’t need to worry about finding a stand-in for Gonzalez.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Ts they can still beat Arsenal on Thursday.Los Che host the second-leg of their Europa League semifinal needing to overturn a 3-1 deficit.Gameiro said, “We’re going to have chances, sure. Arsenal is a team that plays football and leaves space. We are witter: , and .

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Wright suggests he badly wants to stay a Met, and now it’s time for the Wilpons to repay him


(US Presswire)

MIAMI – In just another month, another Mets season featuring the usual few months of hope followed by a sad second-half downturn will mercifully end. And then begins the real important time for the Mets’ future, specifically the small window for them to reach a long-term deal with , the beloved homegrown star who a high-ranking Mets person once called “our Jeter.’’

Wright told the Mets he didn’t want to negotiate during this season, at least delaying their hope to make him a Met for life, and he said in an interview this weekend that that goes for next season, as well. That leaves this winter as the time to get it done.

Based on the surprisingly flattering words he had about the second-division-dwelling Mets, it’s up to the team. There are no excuses.

The verbiage and feeling all still point to this getting done. And, as , a noted expert in this very situation, opined regarding Wright, “I hope they keep him. He’s the face of the franchise.’’

For that very reason (and a few others), it’s hard to see Wright – who’s having a typical year with 17 home runs, 78 RBI and a .317 batting average — leaving. Reyes, who signed for $106 million for six years with the rival , you Manolas.De Laurentiis says he is ready to buy the Greece defender – but for less than Roma’s current price.He said, “We’ve been working on Manolas since Albiol announced his desire to leave Naples. He has given us a lot, but is of a certain age. Wecould easily see going.

Some Mets officials privately wondered whether Reyes could stay healthy. About Wright you never hear a peep that could be construed as negative, not since New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin caught Mets owner Fred Wilpon in a weak moment at a time when he was wondering whether the Madoff scandal might take his beloved team and contested the widely-held belief that Wright is a “superstar.’’

Even from Wright, who may be more media savvy than the Mets’ longtime owner, you hear only positive (and you know he’s seen it all with the Mets, not all of it good). Speaking of his chances to remain a Met long-term, Wright doesn’t even give a nod to the negotiating thing most of them do.

“I’m extremely optimistic,’’ he said. “I’ve really enjoyed it here.’’

Time for the Wilpons to show how much they’ve enjoyed having him here, for showing the guts to play soon after suffering a serious concussion (he wanted not to miss a day before being convinced to go on the disabled list), for showing the fortitude to play through a broken back last year (he should have been told to rest), for enduring the stark pitchers’ park they built (the team finally fixed that last winter) and for keeping a positive attitude even when things are falling apart around him.

Time for the Wilpons to pony up. The figure of $160 million for eight years would be a nice start (my suggestion, not Wrights; he’s too polite to talk about loot).

The annual losing, of course, bothers Wright. But apparently not enough to break him.

 In the face of a fourth straight losing season, he also remains optimistic about the team’s long-term chances, saying, “Although we haven’t gotten things completely turned around, we’ve taken small steps in the right direction and have something to build on.’’

Of course, no signing is guaranteed for an organization whose biggest single player expenditure in the last two years was for offbeat middling closer , who signed for $12 million over two years, an organization that’s cut its player payroll from $140 million to $95 million, an organization whose greatest non-Madoff regret was giving $66 million for four years to . The Franciscsk that boss Jurgen Klopp faces at the club.With the Reds winning the Champions League and going within an inch of the Premier League title last season, expectations are at an all time high.And Krawietz knows that setting even higher standards with to contract will be topped when the Mets pick up Wright’s $16-million option for 2013, but that never was in question. The question is if it ends there.

There have been some media suggestions the Mets should consider passing on their one longtime star, look to deal their one tradable high-priced veteran and get on with a rebuild. However, the Wilpons don’t believe they can embrace such a long-term stance in New York and sources continue to say they intend to try to sign Wright long-term instead. Rival execs suggest Wright is likely a $20-million player, and yet Mets ownership, aware of this probability, seems undeterred.

What’s more, Wright’s interest in staying seems just as great as the team’s in keeping him. None of the negativity seems to have swayed Wright, not the string of second-half collapses, not the severely reduced payroll, not even the misguided Fred Wilpon remark.

“I like to think I’m a loyal person,’’ Wright said.

Just how loyal is Wright? Well, for one, Wright said he is sticking with his embattled agents, the Levinson brothers, who are being investigated by and the players union for representation of Melky Cabrera and possible ties to Kirk Radomski.)

But more to the point, after nine years as a Met, now a majority suffered in the second division (barring a huge finish, this will be the fifth year out of nine with a losing record), he couldn’t summon one bad word about the Metropolitans.

“There’s not a single complaint that I have,’’ Wright said. “(The Mets) drafted me as a kid. They developed me. They’ve given me an opportunity to make a living playing a game. There’s a tremendous amount of mutual respect. They’ve gone above and beyond.’’

That doesn’t sound like a man on the way out, now does it?

Perhaps taking a lesson from Jeter eight miles away, Wright has expertly guided the minefields of New York, and that includes his handling of the negotiations so far. Wright short-circuited the Mets’ intentions to try to negotiate an extension during this season, saying lder admits he took a conscious decision at the beginning of the season to maintain their attacking approach.Wilder was speaking after watching a five match unbeaten run lift his team to fifth, only seven months after being promoted from the Championhe didn’t want to be distracted while recalling how distracted he was when he agreed to his $68-million extension early in the 2006 season. Wright still maintains he did it to eliminate the distraction, but a side benefit has been to see the baseline likely go from friend and fellow Virginian Ryan Zimmerman’s $100-million, six-year deal to $140 million for seven.

Eight years for $160 million would seem like a reasonable bid for Wright, though if he desires more years it’s hard to see how they pass now. They need credibility, their anchor, their Jeter.

 They also can’t afford to give up the RBI. Their greatest need going into 2013 is more power, not less.

Rather than swallow him up, New York has been a plus for Wright. By all accounts, he loved his eight-year tenure, living in Manhattan while taking advantages of the pluses it offers. But at his heart, he is a ballplayer who knows history.

Wanting to stay a Met is about loyalty. And it’s a bit about legacy, too.

Wright grew up in southern Virginia, not far from where the Mets Triple-A team was stationed for years in Tidewater/Norfolk. But the real influence was three and a half hours away, where he saw his first major-league game as a kid, sitting in the cheap seats at the then-brand-new Camden Yards.

“My favorite player was Cal Ripken,’’ Wright said. ‘”The biggest reason for that was, I like that he stayed.’’

Hard to see Wright going. And easy to see him giving the Mets every chance.

Wright is, of course, too polite to talk about dollars, or even years.

But he did say about the coming contract, “You’d like it to take you to the end of your career.’’

Based on his words, it’s hard to imagine his career ends anywhere else. The smart money he stays the king of Queens, and yes, the face of the franchise.

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Johan Santana done for season with back injury


(US Presswire)

starting pitcher is expected to be out for the rest of the season after an MRI revealed lower back inflammation, the Mets announced Wednesday.

Santana will not require surgery, only medication and rest. Thus, it’s a good bet he will return with a clean bill of health next spring. At this point, that’s the most important thing for both sides, as Santana is due $25.5 million next season.

Santana, 33, ends what has to be considered a successful comeback season. The numbers as a whole don’t look great, as he ends 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA and 1.33 WHIP, but there’s some necessary context here.

First of all, Santana was coming off a very sallana admits he remains in the dark over plans for his future.Lallana is off contract in June, though has intimated he won’t seek a move away this month.He told talkSPORT: “It’s easy to keep working.“I’m enjoying playing for the best team in the werious shoulder injury that conte admits he’d like to see Real Madrid midfielder Brahim Diaz playing consistently.De la Fuente also admits being disappointed seeing Dani Olmo leave Dinamo Zagreb for RB Leipzig, insteads with crisis club Atletico Madrid for Thomas Lemar.The Leganes-stalemate-Arsenal-continue-talks.html” target=”_blank”>Daily Mail says Lemar was left out of Atletico Madrid’s squad as the Spanish side’s poor form continued with a goalless draw at hom of returning to Spain.He said, “Dani Olmo is always right wheuld have ended his career. He was able to make a full recovery by opening day this season, which was long in question. Then consider that Santana was 6-4 with a 2.76 ERA through his first 16 starts, among them the first no-hitter in Mets franchise history on June 1.

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Rays’ Evan Longoria to return Tuesday


Evan Longoria will return to the lineup on Tuesday, the team announced on Monday.The Rays optioned infielder to make room for Longoria.Longoria, 26, hasn’t placed since suffering a partially torn left hamstring on April 30. He’s had a few setbacks in his rehab, but in his most recent stint, he playto oversee a major clearout ahead of their Premier League return.The Daily Mail says with five players also seeing their loan spells come to an end, Withan Ake.The London Evening Standard says Lampard was at Chelsea as a ace Wilfried Zaha admits transfer speculation left his head “a bit all over the place”. The winger, 26, was involved in a protracted transfer saga with boyhood club Arsenal and then Everton, with the former opting to sign Nicolas Pepe instead, and t player when Ake came through the ranks following his arrival from Feyenoord as a teenager in 2011 and has had the Dutchman extensively scouted since the season started.But those relder has just 16 players left in his first-team squad.Defenders Martin Cranie and Daniel Lafferty, ed eight games for Triple_A Durham, going 5 for 25 with three RBI and seven walks.

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Yankees, Mets rumors


The will on , while the are looking for more of a stop-z to reopen talks with Manchester United for Paul Pogba.Florentino made an attempt for Pogba over the summer, but was put off by United’s €200m valuation – much to the frusttic.Charlton have said they expect to hear from the Football Association early next week whether the transfer can go ahead.The paperwork for Israel international Hemed’s move to The Valley was submitted close to the 5pm deadline.A brief Charlton statration of Zidane.The issue has been raised again at the club’s Christmas lugap, according to the New York Post’s Ken Davidoff. 

With Dillon Gee injured, the Mets could be in on startihe former Paris FC defender has attracted interest from across Europe this season – including from the Canaries.Le 10 Sport says Norwich have made contact with Reims to discuss terms for Disasi ahead of the January market. Reims are reluctant to loseng pitchers. And since the Yankees have lost Andy Pettitte, they could have similar needs.The Yankees will see what the asking price is for Hamels. Davidoff said they “have to be” in on him.The Mets, however, don’t want to give up prospects and will likely look at acquiring a lesser pitcher. Both teams will be looking to upgrade at the same position, but they won’t be looking at the same guys, Davidoff said.

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