– The Athletics have officially signed RHP Trevor Cahill to a 5-year/$30.5M contract with club options for 2016 and 2017. The new deal buys out all three of his arbitration seasons and potentially his first three seasons of free agency. The club option for 2016 is worth $13M or a $300K buyout while the option for 2017 is valued at $13.5M or a $500K buyout. It looks like a good deal for both sides.
– Brewers’ RHP Zack Greinke (rib) is scheduled to throw live batting practice twice this week. The first live batting practice session will take place Tuesday and the second will either happen Thursday or Friday. If both workouts go well, Greinke should be cleared to make a minor league rehab start by early next week. He could be ready by the end of this month.
– The Blue Jays have placed OF Rajai Davis (right ankle) on the 15-day DL. He was expected to miss time, but they’ll officially make a call-up to save the roster spot.
– Nationals’ 3B Ryan Zimmerman (abdominal strain) will be placed on the 15-day DL Tuesday. Zimmerman originally suffered the injury during spring training and he aggravated it Saturday when he slid into second base. The Nats are hoping that he will be back in two weeks. Zim was sporting a 1.022 OPS, a home run, four RBI and seven walks through 37 plate appearances.
– An MRI Monday on Orioles’ SS J.J. Hardy (oblique) showed a strain. He will be placed on the 15-day DL before Tuesday’s game and could miss up to 3 weeks. He was 3-for-15 with two walks and two RBI before suffering the injury on Saturday night.
– A’s’ RHP Andrew Bailey (forearm) threw 20 pitches off a mound Monday. Bailey believes he’ll begin throwing scheduled bullpen sessions, though the A’s have yet to map out a concrete plan. Barring any setbacks, he should be back by the end of the month.
– Judge Susan Nelson has ordered mediation between the players and owners to begin in Minneapolis on Thursday. Judge Arthur Boylan is the mediator. The owners were pushing for George Cohen to resume mediation and for it to take place in Washington, D.C., so this is another positive for the players. SI’s Peter King predicted that no CBA would be reached soon. King expects a lockout injunction, and the football season to proceed without a CBA, meaning 2011 would be another uncapped year. Stay tuned.
– A league source tells the Cleveland Plain Dealer that Clemson’ DE Da’Quan Bowers (right knee)”checked out good” during last week’s Combine medical recheck in Indianapolis. Last year’s NCAA sacks leader “didn’t even have to undergo another X-ray or MRI” because the knee is in such good shape. No swelling was apparent, and the “stability” of the knee is reportedly sound. Bowers will be in Cleveland on Tuesday and Wednesday. He remains in danger of slipping out of the top-10.
– Free agent RB Fred Taylor, 35, told the Gainesville Sun on Monday that he’s “basically retired” from football. Taylor has missed 19 of a possible 32 regular season games over the past two years, and is up to 2,534 carries to rank 21st on the all-time list. Taylor’s 11,695 rushing yards are 15th all time, although his career 4.62 YPC average is perhaps Taylor’s most impressive statistic. He somehow managed just one Pro Bowl in 13 seasons.
– According to NFL Network’s Mike Mayock, Iowa’ DE Adrian Clayborn’s Erb Palsy (right arm) is a “hot topic around the league.” Teams are reportedly concerned that Clayborn’s upper-body strength is affected by the condition, although Mayock says he’s seen nothing negative on tape.
– Nets’ G Deron Williams (wrist) is scheduled to surgery to remove bone fragments and scar tissue on Monday and will restricted from any basketball activities for the next 6-8 weeks. If he follows typical procedure he will resume light drills after this period and progressively work his way back onto the court.
– Celtics’ G Rajon Rondo, G Ray Allen, F Kevin Garnett and possibly F Paul Pierce (rest) are expected to be shut down for the remainder of the regular season in order to rest up for the playoffs. The C’s are still in the running with the Heat for the No. 2.
– Warriors’ G Monta Ellis (grade-2 concussion) has been released from the hospital after spending the night there, and will miss the remainder of the season.
– Pistons’ G Tracy McGrady (rest) is expected to be shut down.
– “Superstar” Billy Graham stated in an interview with the Ottawa Sun that he wants out of the WWE Hall of Fame. The former wrestling star, now 67, is demanding he be removed from their list of inductees because he is appalled at the inclusion of Abdullah the Butcher.
“It is a shameless organization to induct a bloodthirsty animal such as Abdullah The Butcher into their worthless and embarrassing Hall of Fame and I want the name of Superstar Billy Graham to be no part of it. WWE and their Hall of Fame is disgustingly embarrassing, I want out.”
Graham, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004, sold his ring on eBay two years ago. Graham is also upset with Jericho, who, in his book, Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps, took issue with comments made by the WWE Hall of Famer following Chris Benoit’s double murder suicide.
“Jericho, you have made a huge mistake. You call me an egotistical idiot. If you walked by right now, I would beat the living hell out of you, then spit on your grave for trying to destroy my reputation in your phony little book.”
When contacted for a response, Jericho said: “God bless him and best of luck in all he does in the future.”
– John Morrison is not shying away from online reports that he has heat within the WWE locker room. On Monday afternoon, he made light of Trish Stratus alleging during an interview last Friday that he cold-shouldered her following their contest at WrestleMania. Trish suggested Morrison was “not smart” for the way he handled himself at the big event. Morrison tweeted on Monday:
“American Airlines is not smart RT @RealMelina: Our bags took over an hour to get to baggage claim.”
“Raw in Bridgeport today- Lookout @HEELZiggler… I got a mean punch, a furious kick, and a cold shoulder!”
Morrison tweeted the following remark on Friday shortly after Stratus’ allegations surfaced online:
“If you don’t have enemies, you don’t have character.”
– Gail Kim shot down rumors that she is departing from WWE.
“Can people stop talking about me supposed leaving or my personal life here? It’s really annoying guys,” she wrote on Twitter. “I’m not going anywhere last time I’m saying it. It makes me want to avoid twitter. Let’s talk about more positive and interesting things. Happy raw day… Hopefully us divas will be in action 2nite!”
– The April 8 episode of WWE SmackDown scored a 2.1 cable rating and averaged 3.2 million viewers. Viewership was up from the previous week’s telecast, which drew a 1.94 cable rating and an average of 3.0 million viewers.
– Jim Ross was said to be upset backstage last week at Raw after being squirted in his eyes with barbecue sauce by Michael Cole during the live telecast. Ross, who has vision problems, was upset that Cole shot the sauce in his eyes as opposed to his shirt.