– USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Angels were “rebuffed” in their pursuit of Rays’ RHP James Shields. LA offered OF Peter Bourjos to the Rays for Shields, but were turned down. Shields, 30, has posted a 4.39 ERA and 124/39 K/BB ratio across 131 2/3 innings this season for Tampa Bay. He has a $9M club option for 2013 and a $12M club option for 2014. The Dodgers, Rangers and Cardinals also have interest.
– WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that the Red Sox have “fielded some exploratory inquiries” on RHP Josh Beckett. Bradford, however, writes that “calls to this point have been little more than exercises in kicking the tires.” Beckett has 2-years/$31.5M remaining on his contract, and has a mediocre 4.53 ERA through 101 1/3 innings this year. Any trade would likely require Boston to eat the majority of his salary.
– Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Orioles have inquired about Twins’ LHP Francisco Liriano and Athletics’ RHP Bartolo Colon. The A’s, however, are making a push for an AL Wild Card spot and likely won’t be sellers come July 31. Liriano, 28, has a brutal 5.31 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 100 innings this season, but has pitched much better of late and could benefit from a change of scenery.
– According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, the Angels are interested in Rays’ RHP Wade Davis. The 26-year-old has a superb 2.70 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 52/19 K/BB ratio in 46 2/3 innings this season out of the bullpen.
– The Phillies have placed 3B Placido Polanco (back inflammation) on the 15-day DL. He is batting just .255/.300/.328 with 19 RBI in 82 games this season.
– 49ers’ FS Dashon Goldson signed his 1-year/$6.212M franchise tender. Goldson will be in camp on time despite failing to agree to a long-term deal this offseason. Goldson will try and get a new contract next summer, but could be franchise tagged again. He has averaged 80.3 tackles and 3.6 interceptions and 6.6 pass breakups over the last three seasons.
– The Vikings have agreed to terms with No. 4 overall pick LT Matt Kalil on a 4-year/$19.77M contract. The draft’s top tackle projects to serve as the future left tackle for the foreseeable future. He didn’t allow a single sack while manning that spot for USC last season. Only four first-round picks remain unsigned.
– NFL Network’s Steve Wyche reports that Jaguars’ RB Maurice Jones-Drew is prepared to hold out through training camp, or longer, if the team refuses to restructure his contract. MJD can be fined $30K per day through camp, but he’s willing to make that “sacrifice” to land a new deal. The Jags hold all the leverage in this holdout. Stay tuned.
– A league source tells CSN New England that former Patriots’ RB Joseph Addai “quit” his conditioning test after struggling to complete it. Addai’s value on the market is already thin, and this will make matters worse. He may have taken his last NFL snap.
– Free agent WR Braylon Edwards is working out for the Seahawks on Thursday. This is Edwards’ first reported workout since the start of free agency, so it appears as though he’s fully recovered from his knee injury last season.
– Updating a previous item, Alex Riley’s role in the company has been greatly curtailed since last year. According to PWInsider.com, the Raw Superstar is in the doghouse stemming from a hostile backstage encounter with John Cena. Cena was reportedly poking fun at Riley in front of their wrestler peers, and in response, the Raw talent angrily reacted to Cena’s “rib”—a violation of the unspoken rules of the WWE locker room. Though Riley’s exact actions are not known at this time, his unfavorable reaction to WWE’s premiere star was not considered a good move. “A-RY” was asked to weigh in on the matter via Twitter and responded, “I’d rather not comment about this… At this time.”
– Former WWE Superstar Tatanka confirmed online reports that he was contacted to appear on the historic 1,000th episode of Raw. However, he reveals, company officials never followed up on the matter with him.
“Hello #TeamTatanka! Wished I could’ve surprised u all & brought back what we all love! @WWE called & office confirmed but no follow-up at end.”
Tatanka adds he was disappointed with WWE’s efforts for the milestone program.
“With such a Historic Event #RAW1000 I was surprised that the show was not more than what it was. Missed it completely with show on for nineteen years!” he wrote.
“The Native American” also retweeted a fan remark stating,
“I watched @WWE #RAW1000 to see @NativeTatanka and instead I have to suffer watching Miz win the IC title…shenanigans!”
– WWE.com has added the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion of all-time, The Honky Tonk Man, to its Alumni section: “The Honky Tonk Man tried to make the WWE Universe twist and shout with his unique brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Don’t be cruel, grab yourself a “Hunka Hunka Honky Love” and check out his new WWE Alumni profile, with exclusive photos and videos!”