l fullback Kieran Tierney admits facing his recent

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Tampa Bay designated catcher for assignment Sunday, reports the Tampa.Toni Rudiger struck both goals for the Blues at the Foxes.Lampard said, “In a game that swung this way and that in an incident-packed second half, the boss left the East Midlands ultimately satisfied his team had something to show for our efforts.”A Bay Times. The needed to clear up roster space on the 40-man. 

Vogt, 28, hit .296 this spring with a home run and four RBI over 27 at-bats. He did not get a baGomez was made an honorary citizen of Bergamo.Gori stated, “He is the captain and the symbol of the European Atalanta,” the mayor said. “They have reached the highest level of the club’s history, to which he has contributed, with the team and these hit over 25 at-bats last year with rated Blues boss Frank Lampard saw the winter market shut on Friday without a signing being made.Instead, Chelsea are set for a big spending summer and ESPN says high on their shopping list will be Ziyech.Ziyech is also being tracked by Manchester Unthe Rays. 

oss Frank Lampard has revealed Ruben Loftus-Cheek

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akeover bid from C&N Sporting Risk collapsed.The League One club had been given until 17:00 BST on Tuesday to complete the deal, having been granted an extension to Friday’s initial deadline.Bury are the first team to drop out of the EFL since Mapitcher told .com Sunday that he was feeling better after taking a comebacker off his left ankle the day before. X-rays came back negative on the right-hander and Latos is being considered day to day. “It doesn’t hurt too bc of Ireland coach Mick McCarthy admits he’s been impressed by Norwich City striker Adam Idah.Cork-born teenage striker Idah announced himself with a brilliant, clinical hat-trick in Norwich’s 4-2 FA Cup win at Preston.McCarthy, a pundit alongside Noad today, but it did yesterday,” Latos said. “I can walk on it. I don’t have to use crutches.”His final spring start is scheduled for Thursday. “I better be able to make my next start. I’m not one to sit out,” said Latos, who has a 3.78 w at Leicester City.The 38 year-old Argentine was selected ahead of Kepa Arrizabalaga for his first Premier League appearance of the season.”I feel great because I played and we got one point in a difficult stadium against a difficult team,” he said.ERA through four Cactus League starts. “I asked the lady who took the X-ray that if it was broken, could she make a cast with spikes in it. It’s just sore. We’re taking it day by day and we’ll see how it goes.”

n derby favourites.The Nerazzurri face their city

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pitcher , who is expected to begin the season on the disabled list, made an appearance in a minor-league game against Class A West Virginia Friday.  Hughes pitched Friday night.Villa collected their first Premier League points of the season as goals from Wesley and Anwar El Ghazi gave them victory over Everton.Smith said, “I am more pleased to get the first points in the Premier League. Our performances have b three innings as he allowed three runs on six hits, including a home run. He also struck out three and did not rsenal’s board do not see Freddie Ljungberg as a realistic prospect for the permanent manager’s position.The Daily Mail says Arsenal chiefs do not have Ljungberg on their list of potential Unai Emery replacements. Instead, Mikel Arteta, Patrick Vieirissue a walk. Hughes is just happy to be back on the mound as he continues to work his way back from a bulging disk in his upper back. 

“I feel great, which is goal ede is currently caretaker boss of the Gunners, a team he spent many years with as a player.And his former teammate Cole thinks he has what is takes to replace Unai Emery on a permanent basis.”Every club has to change. They’re in another transition pNo. 1,” Hughes told .com. “I got up to [57] pitches, so I was happy with that. I would have liked to go more than three innings, but it is what it is and hopefully the next one I’m a little bit better, a little bit cleaner out there.”

American players philosophical about Team USA loss

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — When it comes to the World Baseball Classic, it seems that major-league players and managers are like any other fans.

The guys from countries like the Dominican Republic and Venezuela are passionate. The Americans are philosophical.

What does it mean that, for the third time in three WBC tournaments, Team USA won’t win it?

“That shows that maybe this isn’t as much of an American game as we’d like to think,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said Saturday.

Not only has Team USA never won the WBC, but twice in three tournaments the Americans haven’t even advanced to the four-team final round. Team USA made it to the semifinals in 2009, then lost to Japan.

This year, this resisting new contract talks with the Rossonero, where his deal runs to 2021.Gazzetta dello Sport says Juve are watching developments closely and would be willing to set up a swap arrangement for the youngster.Milan aren’t interested in a deal fore Americans survived a Game 1 loss to advance past the first round but lost to the Dominican Republic on Thursday and to Puerto Rico on Friday and exited the tournament in the second round.

“It hurts me to see it — not the elimination part but the fact that most of our best players didn’t play,” Baker said.

Team USA’s elimination will bring yawns from many and scorn fond goalkeeper Loris Karius back to Liverpool.Takvim says Besiktas will open talks to cancel Karius’ loan contract with Liverpool in January .The shot-stopper has kept clean sheets in three of his last four outings but that hasn’t stopped recently-insr the WBC from others. Some will complain about the way the tournament is set up. of the Rockies doesn’t buy the most common excuses.

“People talk about hitters’ timing being off and about pitchers not being ready,” Tulowitzki said. “But the thing that stood out to me was just that anybody can beat anybody on any given day. I know people talk about the guys who didn’t play, that we didn’t have all our best players. That might help. But at the end of the day, anything can happen.

“You can’t sit and make excuses. It’s just baseball, at the end of the day.”

Tulowitzki and Rockies teammate both expressed disappointment at Team USA’s elimination, although neither seemed as broken up as their Venezuelan teammates might have been over their country’s WBC losses.

“I’m disappointed, but I’m not disappointed in the players for losing,” Cuddyer said. “You see some of the Team USA guys getting crushed for not getting hits with runners in scoring position. Hey, it’s their 20th at-bat in four months.

“Three weeks into spring training, I know I’m not ready to play in front of 50,000 fans, in a playoff atmosphere.”

Cuddyer did have one suggestion for how to make Team USA better in future tournaments and how to get around the problem of starting pitchers not wanting to commit to the tournament.

“I would build a pitching staff with all relievers,” he said. “Then I’d pitch them one inning at a time.”

Perhaps Baker will be the one to decide in the future. He said Saturday that he wouldn’t mind managing Team USA, once his major-league managerial career is done.

For now, he watches along with the rest of us. He sees the passion that players from other counteak.Chelsea now have a fortnight off after their 2-2 draw at Leicester City.Lampard said, “Being a footballer is a fortunate job. You do what you love. Sometimes you get home after lunchtime. But it’s also taxing with the pressure, taxing on the playries show.

“Some of it is over-emotion,” Baker said. “Some of it is close to clowning.”

But those teams are still playing, and Team USA isn’t.

Maybe this isn’t as much of an American game as we’d like to think.

son wasn’t ready to manage the club.Hodgson claime

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Pirates starting pitcher posted his second solid start in three spring outings Wednesday against the Red Sox, as he continues to battle for a rotation spot. Locke tossed four innings in the game, allowing five baserunners on three hits and two walks. He limited Boston to just onehas spoken of leaving Arsenal for Juventus.Ramsey left north London for Turin in the summer on a deal worth more than £400,000 per week after a contract offer was taken off the table by the Gunners amid what the player calls “a lot of confusion”.He run scored in the gamss Jose Mourinho.Mourinho returned to the Premier League with Spurs last month.Former Chelsea fullback Bosingwa, who played under Mourinho at Porto, tosfield are interested in signing Watford striker Isaac Success.The Watford Observer reports they are one of several teams who are interested in securing the player’s signature.Anderlecht and Cardiff City are the other teams who want the striker.The Nld Omnisport: “I think football needs Mourinho. I’m happy he came back.”I hope he will do a good joe, lowering his ERA in 10 innings to 3.60. Locke struck out three batters in the start to earn the win.

an update on his fitness.The young defender has s

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Philadelphia outfielder (ankle) is expected to have his surgically-repaired right ankle examined on Tuesday by a doctor in Los Angeles, reports .com Monday. Youngreat striker.Aubameyang, the Premier League’s joint-top goalscorer with 17 goals this term, will have just one year Uruguay striker, 32, says he’s confident they can reach an agreement should new terms be offered.He told Sport, “I am very happy in the club. I have always given myself to the fullest. Statistics and numbers support me, I think I am up to the task a to run on his contract come the summer and is yet to win silverware since joining the club in January 2018.He told Sky Sports: “I’m ag has been limited in spring camp and has only hit off a tee andey want to avoid a second-straight defeat against Tottenham on Boxing Day.The Seagulls succumbed to a disappointing home loss to Sheffield United on Saturday.He said: “They were playing with a lot of energy and were pushing forward quite hard in the thrown long toss to this point. Young is hopeful he’ll be cleared Tuesday to increase his rehab program.

Astros’ Porter has Parcells and passion, but it may not help

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(AP)

JUPITER, Fla. — It happened again Monday.

It’s happened every day since spring training began.

Someone, unprompted, predicts the will lose 120 games.

Monday, it was a veteran scout. Sometimes, it’s a player, or a manager, or a general manager.

Everyone is talking about the Astros, and the only topic is how bad everyone is convinced they’re going to be.

“We will outperform the expectations,” Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said with some confidence, and also with a smile.

For now, some of the focus is on new manager Bo Porter’s passion, and on his high-profile friends.

Monday’s game trip to play the Cardinals gave Luhnow a chance to reconnect with his St. Louis past, but it also gave Porter another chance to get together with Bill Parcells.

And it gave Parcells a chance to remind people that in the first season of what became a Hall of Fame coaching career, his New York Giants finished 3-12-1.

“I almost got fired,” Parcells said. “Sometimes the situation won’t let you win.”

Parcells and Porter met several years back through mutual friends. The two have become close enough that last month, Parcells spent a day with Porter, talking about coaching and about what it takes to win.

“I know he wants it bad,” said Parcells, a longtime baseball fan who was close with ex-Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. “That inspires me to give it everything I have to help him.”

But sometimes the situation won’t let you win.

Parcells knows that. Porter will likely learn, as only a manager with an overmatched team learns.

Dave Trembley learned. In Trembley’s two full seasons managing in Baltimore, the Orioles lost 93 and 98 games. By the end, when he was fired in the middle of the 2010 season, Trembley looked beaten down.

And he never lost 100 games in a season. Many believe Porter’s Astros will go way past that — and even threaten the 1962 Mets’ modern-day record of 120.

Trembley’s Orioles couldn’t compete in the American League East. It’s hard to see how Porter’s Astros will be able to compete in the American League West.

“The AL West now is what the AL East was then,” Trembley said.

Trembley and Porter have been close since 1995, when Porter played for a Class A team that Trembley managed in the Cubs organization. He played three seasons for Trembley in the minors, and came away saying that if he ever got a chance to manage in the major leagues, Trembley would be on hiter United aftew Real Madrid fullback Ferland Mendy has been ruled out for a month after picking up a thigh injury in pre-season.The latest blow for Los Blancos comes just days after Marco Asensio suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament which will keep him on thr snubbing them at the beginning of the January market.The former RB Salzburg hotshot has revealed Borussia Dortmund blew United out of the race for his signature by going all out to convince him to play in the Bundesliga – and claims staff.

Now Trembley is a Porter believer.

“He’s competitive, but he’s got a plan,” Trembley said. “He’s got a striker Marcus Rashford admits they need to find a way to win consistently.Rashford says they need to learn to win when not playing well.He explained, “The consistency in the performance and the consistency in the games you win are two completely difvision. You want these guys play. They play with passion.”

For now, they do. The Astros are thrilled with the way their spring has gone. They don’t think they’re going to lose 120 games, even if everyone else seems to think so.

For now, they have Porter’s passion.

“It’s hard to be around me and not have passion,” Porter said Monday.

We’ll check back on that once the season starts. We’ll check back on that in June or July.

Everyone else thinks it’s going to be bad by then, real bad.

Passion won’t be enough.

Sometimes the situation won’t let you win.

mi Hyypia says the European champions must not res

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Scott White  and puts as the only relief pitcher in his “Elitesays he’s quickly felt comfortable on the south coast.Potter yesterday signed a new six-year contract just months into his time with the Seagulls.He praised the backing from the chairman Tony Bloom, deputy chairmahester United for Romelu Lukaku.Tuttosport says Juve have stepped up their pursuit of Lukaku and are set to offer Dybala in return – but want a decision from the Premier Leaguel for Rapid Vienna prospect Benjamin Kanuric.Calciomercato.com says the Gunners are favourites to land the 16 year-old ahead of the January market. Inter Milan, Juventus and Roma are also in contact, though Arsenal are leading the race for the midfie club within seven days.Inter Milan were believed to be leading the race fn and chief executive Paul Barber and” tier. His “Near Elite” guys include , , Fernando Rodney, Mariano Rivera, Joe Nathan and Rafael Soriano.

Baseball America releases Top 100 prospects list

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(US Presswire)

Many outlets release prospect rankings nowadays, but Baseball America still seems to be the list with the most prestige. Tuesday, the outlet . 

Just as has been the case with pretty much every outlet, infielder was ranked as the top prospect. pitcher checked in at number two, followed by outfielder Oscar Taveras, outfielder Wil Myers and pitcher Jose Fernandez, respectively. 

The rest of the top 10, in order: (P, STL); Gerrit Cole (P, PIT); Xander Bogaerts (SS, BOS), Migud Luiz is pleased with his new two-year contract.And the Brazilian is adamant Chelsea can compete on all fronts next season – despite their transfer ban.He told the Chelsea magazine: “The new contract means a lot as well. I’m glad to be here, so happel Sano (3B, MIN),ng his old club fail to land Manchester City attacker Leroy Sane.Bayern have pursued a deal for Sane all summer, but it now appears off after the winger’s ACL injury.Hitzfeld is convinced City were ready to sell Sane before he broke down in the Commu Byron Buxton (OF, MIN). 

Also, here is a breakdown in graphic form of how many prospects each team has in the top 100:

The Cardinals have been by Baseball America, which is reflected here in the club being tih.Sky Sports says Arsenal are looking to specifically sign left-footed players in January.Arteta is keen to get players in who can support his forward line and that he wants a left-footer to help Pierre_Emerick Aubameyang and co.Bayer Leverkusen ace ed for the most entrants in the top 100 and also having two of the top 10. 

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and . Also, individually interact with us on Twitter: , and .

Roger Clemens to return to Astros in ‘active role’

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(Getty Images)

By the sounds of it, Roger Clemens will not be pitching for the again. He will, however, be teachingarding the future of midfielder Lucas Torreira.The Uruguayan has been the subject of exit rumours since he arrived at the club last summer.Reports have emerged from Italy suggesting he could go back to Serie A on an initial loan and eventually a perm pitching in some capacity for the Astros. as saying this about Clemens’ anticipated return to the organization: “We’ve got the whole calendar mapped out, and we’re going to sort of figure out what makes sense. But the idea is to plug him in in spring training, plug him in throughout the season and just have him get a lot more involved with our pitchers.”

The “throughout the season” part of Luhnow’s comments suggests that this ishampton last weekend.Reid told the Liverpool Echo: “He’s shown a desire, he’s looking to hit forward passes, he’s good with or without the ball and he’s notched against Southampton at the back stick.”I think his form has been terrific and it just sho going to be something more than the usual “spring-training instructor” gig that so many franchise stalwarts dip their toes into from time to time. And, yes, the Astros already have a pitching coach.

Regardless of what you think of Clemens, his greatness is unassailable. And while greatness doesn’t necessarily iman.The 19-year-old centre-back becomes manager Steve Cooper’s second summer recruit to the Liberty Stadium.Wilmot began his career at Stevenage, earning a call-up for England Under-19s after impressing in League Two.Premier League Watford paid £1.5mply an ability to impart knowledge, there’s no harm in exposing young pitchers to the wisdom of an all-time great.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

ut his international future.England, Nigeria and C

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The Rangers met with free-agent catchf executive.It has been reported that Manchester United are looking for a director of football to take some of the responsibility off executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and their former goalkeeper Van der Sar was linked to the role.”Besides my familer on Tuesday, according to multiple sources. Pierzynski batted .278 with a career-high 27 home runs and 77 RBI for the Whell Mauro Icardi to Juventus this summer.Icardi is on-loan at PSG this season from Inter Milan and can sign permanently thanks to a €70m option.French media soe Laurentiis and his family has raked in huge dividends from the club’s past year.Calcio e Finanza has released figures for the earnings of board members over the last financial year in Serie A – with Napoli topping the table.The board chaired by De urces say PSG would be willing to sign the Argentina international outright and sell him ite Sox last season.

Phillies, Astros deal for Wilton Lopez delayed

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An agreement reached yesterday between the and for reliever has yet to become official, CBSSports.com insider Danny Knobler confirmed Thursday.

CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman the two clubs had agreed to a deal sending Lopez to Philadelphia in exchange for “minor league players.” Lo Everton did not happen over the summer.Everton were one of many clubs linked with a possible deal ahead of the summer window.He told HLN: “There was interest and there have been conversations, but it never came to a point where I had to deceeding this season.Abraham has scored seven goals in five Premier League games at the beginning of the campaign.”Yeah, I’ve known him [Abraham] since he’s been like this,” Drogba explained.”These are kids we used to see, they used to come and watch uide: Do opez, 29, posted a 2.17 ERA and 2.70 FIP in 66.1 innings in 2012.

Lopez dealt with a sprained elbow this past season, however, and the issue may be with his physical exam. Brian McTaggart of .com says Lopez Wednesday.

A scout from a third team said Philadelphia “had better get a physical” on Lopez. The right-hander also missed time due to the elbow in 2011 with ulnar neuritis, inflammation of the arm’s ulnar nerve causing hand numbness or weakness.

For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis on the latest rumors from blogirror says the move was rubberstamped despite a late attempt from Brighton to hijack the deal.Liverpool will receive a £2million fee for the loan, after refusing to consider a permanent transfer for a player manager Jurgen Klopp insists will return gers Chris Cwik, Jack Moore and R.J. White, follow .

Indians invite Hector Rondon, Luis Hernandez to spring training

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The have signed pitcher and infielder to minor-league contracts with invitations to spring training, the club announced Thursday.

Rondon, a 24-year-old riph Hasenhüttl was disappointed losing 2-1 at ten-man Tottenham on Saturday.Spurs went down to ten men after the dismissal of Serge Aurier in the 31st minute, shortly after taking the lead through Tanguy Ndombele, but Saints fought back to level thinghty, has spent the last six years in the Indians’ system. After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010, he was forced to undergo another surgery for an elbow fracture sustained in winter ball in November, 2011. He has thrown just 10 professional innings in the last two seasons. In his last full season, 2009, Rondon posted a 3.38 ERA between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus.

Hernandez, 28, appeared in just two major-league games for the Rangers this past season. Prior to that, he had 47 plate appearances for the Mets in 2010; for his career, Hernandez is a .243/.284/.296 hitter in Arsene Wenger says his Invincibles side was the greatest team that he managed.Wenger was in charge of some other excellent sides at Arsenal, including the double-winning teams of 1997-98 and 2001-02.Wenger is quoted by the Metro: “You would say the I292 plate appearances. He spent much of 2012 at Triple-A Round Rock in the Texas system, hitting .262/.303/.376 inted are extending their singing section at the Stretford End of Old Trafford.The Red Devils have been impressed by the improvement in atmosphere from the designated section in recent games.It was particularly evident during their game against Manches 572 plate appearances.

World Series ratings might be lowest ever, but does it really matter?

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(Getty IManchester United captain Nemanja Vidic feels Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is ready to leave Lazio for a bigger stage.The Serb has been linked with United, along with the likes Real Madrid and PSG.Vidic told TMW of his countryman: “He has quality and has mages)

After hearing throughout the World Series how bad the ratings were, is it really any surprise this year’s Series likely will be the lowest-rated in history?

There are reports that this series will mark a new low for the World Series, . Although there was a spike for the final game, the first two games were seen by fewer people than any other World Series game in history.

There will be plenty of people who use this as a signal of doom for baseball and its biggest stage. You can find those histrionics and overreactions other places. As for me? I just don’t care. It’s not that big of a deal. Why not? Well, ratings are down everywhere, especially as we move to a post-TV world, where people get their entertainment on other devices than the television. Ratings are less important now than they’ve ever been; ratings are an antiquated measurement for popularity — like album sales or box-office receipts. 

Actually, the game is doing just fine.

Major League Baseball just signed an eight-year TV deal with Fox and Turner for an average of $800 million a year to broadcast postseason games. That’s in addition to the ESPN deal that will pay approximately $700 million a year from 2014-21, nearly double what it was paying before.

The Dodgers are banking on the possibility of local TV rights package worth as much as $4 billion, while Angels and Rangers have already signed deals worth more than $1 billion each.

According to Forbes, the average Major League baseball team’s value rose 16 percent to an all-time high of $605 million in 2012. Revenue for the 30 teams was an average of $212 million in 2011. The Dodgers were sold for more than $2 billion. The Astros were sold for more than $135 million more than what Forbes had estimated the team’s estimated.

Even as the World Series ratings were down, ratings for many individual teams are up- and not just the big-market teams at er Louis Saha believes they should’ve pushed harder for Sporting CP ace Bruno Fernandes.Saha believes they should have done more than monitored the 24-year-old and show have signed him“Bruno Fernandes is a player of great technical quality who coulthe top of the standings. For instance, the lowly Royals, who finished 72-90, recorded their best ratings in history. And they’re not the only ones. Baseball is a regional sport, with fans supporting their team for 162 s on target for Brazil in Thursday’s 1-1 draw with Senegal in Singapore.The Liverpool striker opened the scoring after just eight minutes when he latched onto a pass from Manchester City rival Gabriel Jesus before chipping the ball past Alfred Gomis games over the course of six months. That’s where the money — and the viewership — comes in.

And if you want to step away from TV money, attendance at Major League Baseball games is at its highest level since 2008. A total of 74.86 million fans went to big league parks this season.

So, yeah, the World Series isn’t the — and it will never be, because it’s not a fair comparison. Football is the country’s most popular sport and the Super Bowl is a singular event, the World Series is anything from four to seven games played over nine days. Few people can host seven parties over nine days. No, the media creation that is the Super Bowl, which is always held on a weekend, will get the ratings, even if people are more interested in the commercials than the game. The Super Bowl brings in nonsports fans, the World Series celebrates baseball fans.

The ratings are down, but the ratings are Fox’s problem. It would only be baseball’s problem if it was having trouble selling rights to the World Series — and with Fox just re-signing its contract, that doesn’t seem to be the case. It seems baseball’s doing just fine.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow on Twitter, subscribe to the and .

Angels exploring trades for Haren, Santana before option decision is due

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The are still talking to teams about possible trades for either or , sources said.

The Angels want to try to deal them before having to decide Wednesday about lucrative one-year options for the two starters.

CBSSports.com reported Monday the Angels were at least exploring possible trades for the two starting pitchers.

While one competih the introduction of new signing Jean-Philippe Gbamin.Silva will play a waiting game before determining if Gbamin – a player he believes “fits into my model” – can feature against Crystal Palace on the Premier League’s opening day next Saturdang executive suggested he believed it might be hard to trade either pitcher based on their sub-par seasons, a source said the trade talks are “very real.” There has been some expectation that the Angels won’t exercise the pitchers’ options, which would make them free agents.

“We’re exploring a variety of different opportunities,” Angels GM Jerry Dipoto said.

The Angels are believed to want to sign their own star free-agent starter , who pitched well for them after a trade to the Angels from . Greinke will draw interest from many teams, as he is the top free-agent starter.

The Angels have until three days after the World Series to decide whether to pick up Haren’s $15.5 million option and Santana’s $13 million option. The Los Angeles Times reported the Angels are likely to decline the options, and that seems to be the case based on their efforts to deal the pitchers.

Haren’s option price doesn’t seem too high, though there was a bit of concern about his back during the season.

If the Angels buy out Haren, they’d owe him $3.Odoi is set to sign an incredible £200,000-a-week contract keeping him at Stamford Bridge for the next five years.The England winger, 18, is recovering strongly from an Achilles injury and was back at first-team training this week.The Blues have bee5 million. They could buy out Santana for $1 million.

Haren went 12-13 with  4.33 ERA, Santana 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA. Sources say Dipoto wanted to trade Santana last winter, but owner Arte Moreno is said to have wanted to hold on to him at the oss Graham Potter has shut down talk of Alireza Jahanbakhsh leaving this month.The attacking midfielder is being celebrated today after his wonder goal in their 1-1 draw with Chelsea“There was talk about him going in January – players want to play time.