– According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Red Sox are on the “back burner” in trade talks for D’Backs’ OF Justin Upton. Another unspecified team made a strong push on Wednesday, according to Rosenthal, and roughly 15 teams have already expressed their interest. An official from another club told Rosenthal that the D’Backs want to “win” the trade and want four top prospects in exchange for Upton. The Diamondbacks have discussed three-team and four-team deals, but if the Red Sox were to trade only their own players, they would likely have to part with some combination of RHP Daniel Bard, top prospect RHP Casey Kelly, OF Jacoby Ellsbury and OF Ryan Kalish. As of Wednesday night, Rosenthal reports that there was “little momentum” for a trade.
In an update, Rosenthal reports that the “unspecified team” is now the Blue Jays, as they’ve begun showing “strong interest” in acquiring Upton. It’s not clear what they would be willing to part with, but it stands to reason that the D’Backs wouldn’t do a deal without young RHP Kyle Drabek.
– Rangers’ president Nolan Ryan told Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal that he expects the Yankees to outbid the Rangers for LHP Cliff Lee. Ryan said that the Rangers will try to sell the appeal of Texas, but Costa writes that he “didn’t sound confident.” The Yankees appear determined to sign Lee, so the Rangers will probably draw the line at a certain price.
– Jayson Stark of ESPN.com reports that RHP Javier Vazquez has emerged as the Marlins’ primary target. Stark reports that the Marlins plan to use the money saved from the Dan Uggla trade on a starting pitcher. It would appear that those funds might be a bit limited after this week’s addition of John Buck, but they apparently have Vazquez and RHP Carl Pavano on their wish list. Pavano is reportedly seeking a deal similar to the 3-year/$33M contract Ted Lilly recently signed with the Dodgers, so Vazquez will come at a cheaper price off a down season. The Nationals, Rockies, Cardinals and Cubs have also expressed interest in Vazquez.
– Blazers’ F Brandon Roy (knee) is “bad and it’s not getting better,” a source tells Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojo, one of the best in the business, talked to numerous sources about Roy’s knee and came back with a really gloomy picture. “There’s no real hope of it improving,” one source said. There is also no clear course of action. For now, Roy is sitting out Thursday and Saturday. Over the long term, he could have his minutes reduced, sit out back-to-backs, or even have surgery. The only thing that is clear is that Roy can no longer be considered an elite player.
– Lakers’ F Andrew Bynum (knee) admitted Wednesday that he won’t be appearing in any games until early December. Writers have pushed Bynum’s timetable back, but this is the first time that Bynum himself said he won’t be back around Thanksgiving. The Lakers are going to exercise extreme caution so that Bynum, who has a history of setbacks, doesn’t have one this time.
– According to an article on WWE.com documenting the history of Nexus, Skip Sheffield (broken ankle) is no longer considered a member of the group. The article states:
“Immediately following that heinous first attack, the stalwart Bryan expressed remorse for his actions and parted ways with The Nexus, while Tarver, Sheffield and Young were later deemed unworthy of the rebels’ signature armband either due to exile or injury. However, as witnessed by the WWE Universe, the group only grew stronger and more streamlined as a result of the changes within its ranks.”
During the August 18 live event in Honolulu, Hawaii, Sheffield injured his ankle in a tag team match with David Otunga against The Hart Dynasty. It was later determined that he suffered a compound fracture of his ankle and was initially expected to be out for 4-6 months. Sheffield was never officially booted from the group on television. Wade Barrett acknowledged in passing during an interview on the August 30 episode of Raw that Sheffield suffered an ankle injury.
– According to the WO, as reported last week, UFC fighter Roy “Big Country” Nelson has interest in wrestling for WWE in the near future.
There’s some interesting backstory to the situation. Nelson has been fighting for UFC in his last few fights, but there’s a legal mess that’s preventing him from fighting anywhere now. Either before or during the time that he was signed with UFC, Nelson signed a contract with former boxer Roy Jones’ Square Ring, Inc. promotion.
Square Ring, Inc. has sued Roy Nelson and Zuffa LLC (UFC’s parent company), claiming they have exclusive rights over Nelson’s MMA career. Because UFC’s contracts typically include a clause that would indemnify Zuffa from any lawsuits arising from a fighter breaching contracts with other companies (such as Square Ring), all the legal heat is now coming down on Nelson. The legal bills are piling up, Nelson can’t fight for UFC, Square Ring isn’t booking any big MMA shows and “Big Country” needs a big payday.
Nelson’s management team thinks working with WWE could be the solution and has reached out to the company about working together. No word yet if WWE is interested in working with Nelson, but this will be an interesting story to follow.
– Vikings’ WR Sidney Rice (hip) said on his blog that reports suggesting he might be hesitant to return this season because of his contract situation are “a bunch of bull.” Rice says whether or not he returns will be based purely on health. He added that he wasn’t able to play in Week 10 because he was “feeling significant discomfort Friday and Saturday.” Rice’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, expects his client to be activated by next Wednesday, but Rice is making no guarantees.
– Wild’ F Guillaume Latendresse (groin) missed his ninth straight game on Wednesday, and there’s currently no timetable for his return. He is now able to skate, though not in practice, and has been working out off the ice. Coach Todd Richards said, “This injury is a little bit more substantial than what we first thought. Just taking it slow.” He’s been out since October 25.
– Ducks’ F Teemu Selanne’s goal on Wednesday was the 1,281st point of his career, tying him with former Detroit great Alex Delvecchio for 32nd overall on the all-time NHL list. Selanne continues to climb up the list in the record books, and can still score even at age 40. The Finnish Flash has 22 points this season in as many games. The next spot could be hard, as Gilbert Perreault is 45 points ahead of him and Selanne is likely to retire at the end of the season.
– TNA officials believe that Sting will once again re-sign with the company. Sting has been working on a year-to-year basis for several years now, with Spike TV often contributing to his expensive contract renewals. If he does decide to stick with TNA, he would be brought back in January with some of the other TNA headliners who have been off television, like Kurt Angle.
– There has been talk of Kevin Nash being brought back to TNA. Click here for more on his recent TNA departure and Nash teasing that he’d like to wrestle The Undertaker at WrestleMania 27.
– TNA’s EV 2.0 storyline has essentially run its course and was not originally booked to last this long. Many within TNA are pleased the ECW originals got as much exposure as they did, but it’s really time to move on.
– Former WWE and TNA star Sean “X-Pac” Waltman went on Twitter this week and ranted about a number of topics, including why he wasn’t contacted to appear at “Old School” RAW, WWE’s Wellness policy, his release from TNA and more. Here are some highlights of what Waltman wrote on Twitter:
Not Being Contacted To Appear On “Old School” RAW: “I dont know why I wasnt at Old School Raw. Maybe everyone should call them and ask them. (203) 352 8600. they are going to kill me for that. Dont tell them I told you to call though:) Not that they wont find out anyway, with all the wwe undercover operatives scanning twitterverse. Maybe I just slipped their mind. If u listen to their version of history, i barely existed.”
Waltman has been outspoken about WWE’s PG product and suspects that his comments may have put him on bad terms with the company. He tweeted:
“F— em if they cant take a joke. 4 f— sakes, the election is over. Enough with the PG bulls— Vince. I love you Boss, but come on.”
“Trust me, Im not trying to get a job. Im doing fine & having fun. I just like to play harmless ribs. Someone’s gonna be pissed though. lol!”
WWE’s Wellness Policy & Whether He’d Quit Weed To Get A Job With WWE:
“No. I wouldnt. Thats my own choice & even Vince doesnt want to stop the boys from smoking weed. Its a bs policy.”
“As long as there testing for marijuana, which is totally retarded, I will not pass their drug test. They will drop the pot thing. watch”
“Drop the marijuana policy. The IOC doesnt even ban it, except during competition. F— it, While your at it, lay off the steroid policy too. People want to see guys with great bodies & the boys want to take it.”
“Now the ban on somas & the whole wellness policy in general is great. That would give WWE an idea if anyone’s health is affected.”
His Release From TNA:
“Everyone ask Dixie Carter why TNA chose to announce I no showed Lockdown when they knew my situation over 1 wk prior.”
“Also ask Dixie Carter why she told me we would get through this together & then I received a an e mail saying weve got nothing for you.”And even though they could really use me. Im not looking for a job there either. TNA that is. Dixie Carter is a good woman however.”
“TNA did not f— me at all. Just shoot strait with me. Too many people there who feel threatened by me, behind the scenes.”
“But I was part of the reason Konnan won his lawsuit vs TNA for racial descrimination. Im surprised they brought me back anyway. Some people in TNA were wrong & they were guilty. I witnessed it & had the balls not to remain silent. I get the reason they dont want me..”
– Tommy Dreamer’s reported wrist injury was originally feared to be a break, but ended up “only” being a ligament injury with deep bruising.
– Ric Flair is said to be a strong supporter of Matt Morgan. Flair sees tremendous potential in Morgan and has been mentoring him behind the scenes at recent iMPACT! tapings.
– TNA president Dixie Carter is getting serious about protecting her talent from head injuries and recently spoke to former WWE star and concussion awareness champion Chris Nowinski. As part of this effort, TNA star Ken Anderson recently announced on Twitter that the company has banned unprotected chair shots to the head.