– ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reports “major progress” has been made in Saturday’s CBA negotiations, and that the NFLPA* Executive Committee will meet on Monday and likely recommend ratification of the agreement. We’ve seen deals “nearly done” before, only to have them fall through, but nonetheless, it still looks like they’re close to ending the lockout. NFL Network’s Jason La Canfora reports free agency could begin “around” Wednesday, with training camps following on Friday.
– The Titans are expected to have just one day to trade or release QB Vince Young following the start of the new league year before being forced to pay his $4.25M roster bonus. Young’s contract calls for his bonus to be paid on the 10th day of the league year, but the Sports Xchange’s Howard Balzer reports that all offseason option and roster bonuses have been fast-tracked to the second day of the new league year in this season’s compressed free agency period. Finding a trade partner for Young was already going to be nearly impossible, and now it officially is. Young will hit the open market on the second day of free agency.
– ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Reds “have nibbled” on Mets’ OF Carlos Beltran but “are hesitant to take on much salary or give up good prospects for a rental.” The Reds have been connected to a few leadoff hitter types, but GM Walt Jocketty said that while it’s “important to have a good leadoff guy… if we could find the right RBI guy, that’s what we’ll be looking for.” The Reds are more likely to find a pitcher than another bat.
– Ken Rosenthal said on the FOX Saturday Baseball broadcast that the Indians have interest in Rays’ OF B.J. Upton. Rosenthal confirmed a report from ESPN’s Buster Olney that Upton be traded at this year’s deadline with 100% certainty. Upton, 26, has a .712 OPS in 94 games for the Rays, but remains a high impact, high reward player.
– Bob Klapisch of The Record reports that the Yankees are “still not leaning towards dealing for a starter.” They’re still probably looking for another starter. Klapisch thinks the Yankees’ next step would be to give RHP Ivan Nova another chance, but with guys like Rockies’ RHP Ubaldo Jimenez available, it’s hard to believe that the Yankees won’t open up their wallet.
– The Orioles have placed OF Luke Scott (torn labrum in right shoulder) on the 15-day DL. It’s unknown if he’ll require surgery, but the O’s have ruled him out for the rest of the season. Scott was just activated from the DL Friday but had continued soreness in the shoulder during his three at-bats. He’ll end the campaign with a .220/.301/.402 batting line with nine homers over 209 at-bats.
– The Rangers have placed 3B Adrian Beltre (Grade 1 hamstring strain) on the 15-day DL. Beltre came up lame while running the bases Friday. He should be back after the minimum stint.
– WWE.com announced Saturday that Kane will be sidelined for at least three months due to a fractured fibula. He sustained the injury while being attacked by Mark Henry, which occurred moments after Randy Orton defeated the multi-time champion in a Street Fight. Similar to what he did to Big Show at Money in the Bank, Mark Henrybrutalized Kane’s leg using a steel chair on the July 22 edition of SmackDown. The attack occurred just moments after Orton defeated Kane in a brutal Street Fight.
According to WWE doctor Michael Sampson, Kane suffered a fractured fibula, which will keep him out of the ring for at least three months. “But because of potential complications with such a severe injury, it could also keep him out of action for an undetermined amount of time,” Sampson said.
– According to the PWInsider, a transcript (which has been translated from Spanish to English) has been released of Sin Cara discussing the circumstances behind his WWE suspension earlier this week with Record, a Mexican sports publication.
The Record: Are you surprised by this situation?
Sin Cara: Why did they suspend me? They haven’t told me anything.
Record: How did you find out? Cara: I found out just now.
Record: What do you think happened? You’re one of the guys who has had a lot of success there.
Cara: I’m going to talk to them to find out what’s going on because they told me [wait] until tomorrow.
Record: You’re talking with them tomorrow to clear this up? How has this affected you?
Cara: Well yeah, they haven’t told me anything bad. This hasn’t affected me because they would have told me something.
Record: Why did they suspend you? Cara: I don’t know. What happened is I have pain and I injected something, I think it caused the test to be positive, they didn’t tell me anything. Supposedly steroids but lots of medications have steroids.
Record: What body part did you inject? Is this some type of injury?
Cara: It’s an injection I normally get in Mexico.
Record: Oh so something you’ve done previously? What body part?
Cara: My knee.
Record: The same one that’s been giving you small problems here and there?
Record: So you’re going to meet them and get more information.
Record: Do you have a date on when you’ll be back?
Cara: No, like I said they haven’t told me anything, I just found out but I’d like to know. They told me not to worry about anything, nothing is going on, that we’d talk tomorrow, that’s all they told me. I think until I talk to them tomorrow I’ll know what’s going on.
Record: Do you have a message for your fans?
Cara: Thanks for their support, the fans know I’m not a drug addict, much less am I taking anything. I’m not sure what happened, it looks like it was from the medication, let’s wait and see what happens. Because my body doesn’t really look like it’s on steroids, If this were a drug thing they would have fired me. I’ve very grateful for the public’s support and we’ll wait and see what happens.
– The Blue Jackets have signed F Vaclav Prospal to a 1-year/$1.75M contract. If Prospal’s recent knee issues don’t flare up this season, he should be near the 55-point range. He’s projected to play on the first line due to F Kristian Huselius’ injury.
– The brother of former Rangers’ F Derek Boogaard was charged Friday in relation to the player’s death. Aaron Boogaard reportedly gave Derek an unprescribed narcotic painkiller one day after the player was released from rehab and as a result has been charged with unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. The drug was given to Derek at the start of a night of partying that also included heavy drinking. Aaron has also been charged with interfering with the scene of a death after he allegedly flushed the remainder of Derek’s drugs down the toilet prior to police arriving on the scene.
– Lightning’ F Ryan Malone (shoulder) has undergone surgery and is expected to miss 4-6 months. He’s currently expected to return in mid-December.
– The Canadiens have re-signed D Josh Gorges to a 1-year/$2.5M contract.
– The Lakers, who made $33.4M profit and inked a $4B TV deal last year, are reportedly going to cut 20 employees from their operation, including assistant GM Ronnie Lester.
– According to beat writer Jerry Zgoda, Don Nelson will interview with the Wolves on Sunday. Zgoda says there might be one or two interviews following Nellie’s, but there remains no clear favourite for the job.