– According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, the Phillies are “sending signals” that they plan to make LHP Cole Hamels an initial offer of about 6-years/$130M. The Phillies are rumoured to have had conversations with Hamels in recent days, but no official offer has been tabled. Negotiations are believed to be based off Giants’ RHP Matt Cain’s 5-year/$127.5M extension, according to Jon Heyman. The team hopes to have a decision next week as we approach the trade deadline.
– ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that there are no current discussions between the Red Sox and Marlins about a deal that would send OF Carl Crawford to Miami for 3B Hanley Ramirez and RHP Heath Bell. According to Olney, the proposal was brought up briefly as a concept and died immediately. Crawford is in the second-year of a 7-year/$142M contract. He also has the ability to block trades to two unidentified clubs.
– Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the Blue Jays “want to deal” SS Yunel Escobar. It’s unclear what the motivation is at this point. Escobar, 29, is batting just .247/.293/.333 with six homers and a .626 OPS in 88 games. He’s owed $5M next season while his contract includes a pair of $5M club options for 2014 and 2015.
– The Red Sox have placed DH David Ortiz (right Achilles) on the 15-day DL retroactive to July 17. Big Papi didn’t suffer a tear or rupture, but will be inactive for 10-14 days.
– According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Tigers are talking to the Marlins about a trade for 2B Omar Infante. The 30-year-old is batting .284/.309/.448 with eight home runs, 33 RBI and a .757 OPS this season. He is under contract for $4M next year.
– According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Tigers, White Sox and Orioles have “checked in” on Padres’ LHP Clayton Richard. Richard has bounced back from shoulder surgery, posting a 3.83 ERA and 70/28 K/BB ratio over 127 innings this season. The 28-year-old is under team control through 2014.
– According to Ric Bucher, the Cavaliers are back in the mix for a potential three-team trade sending Magic’ F Dwight Howard to the Lakers. The framework of the deal would see the Cavaliers acquire F Andrew Bynum, the Lakers would get Howard and Orlando would be receiving F Anderson Varejao and draft picks from the Cavs. Bynum has the Cavs as one of the teams he’d be willing to sign an extension with, assuming he is traded. Before any deal gets done, though, Bynum will need to verbally agree to an extension. Stay tuned.
– The Blazers are set to match the Timberwolves’ 4-year/$46.5M offer sheet for G Nicolas Batum. Batum is in Portland on Wednesday, set to take his physical on Thursday and already has a press conference scheduled for Friday. His contract includes a 15% “trade kicker” which bumps the salary even higher if he is dealt before the end of the deal.
– The Clippers have signed F Grant Hill to a 2-year contract. Hill spent the last five seasons with the Suns, averaging 10.2 points, 3.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 28.1 minutes in 49 games. He also received five All-NBA Defensive Team votes and received multiple Defensive Player of the Year votes. He’ll be coming off the bench in LA.
– The The Lakers have signed free agent F Antawn Jamison to a 1-year contract worth the veteran’s minimum. Jamison opts against joining his hometown Bobcats in favour of a chance for an NBA Championship. Jamison should provide solid scoring off the bench.
– Former Steelers, Cardinals, and Dolphins LB Joey Porter has retired from football. A third-round pick out of Colorado State back in 1999, Porter played 13 NFL seasons, making four Pro Bowls. He earned a Super Bowl ring with Pittsburgh for the 2005 season. The 35-year-old was one of the most feared linebackers in the game, recording at least nine sacks six times. He’ll retire as a member of the Steelers.
– According to NFL.com, a source says that there’s a 75% chance that Ravens’ QB Joe Flacco gets a contract extension prior to the start of training camp. Flacco is set to make $6.76M in base salary this season, the final year of his rookie deal. He’s started every single game since being drafted 18th overall in 2008, going 44-20 and winning at least one playoff game each season.
– Alameda County (CA) police have formally charged Seahwks’ RB Marshawn Lynch with suspicion of DUI following his July 14 arrest, marking the 24th player arrest this offseason. Lynch’s next court date will take place on August 14. Lynch could face a “lengthy” suspension if convicted of the DUI, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
– The Red Wings have re-signed D Kyle Quincey to a 2-year/$7.55M contract worth $3.55M next season and $4M in 2013-14. Quincey scored seven goals and 26 points 72 games between the Avalanche and Wings last season.
– John Cena and ex-wife Elizabeth Huberdeau have reached a settlement in their divorce proceedings, according to TMZ.com. It was previously reported that Huberdeau felt “blindsided” when Cena unexpectedly filed for divorce in May. Huberdeau was convinced the WWE Superstar was unfaithful during their marriage and had vowed to prove it in court. Her attorney Raymond Rafool stated then they were receiving tips of Cena’s extramarital affairs which, if proven true, could have affected their prenuptial agreement. But now, Rafool tells TMZ.com the former couple have managed to reach a private agreement: “All matters [in the divorce] have been settled and resolved amicably.” The terms of the settlement are confidential.
– Former WWE creative writer Court Bauer recently spoke with Steven Muehlhausen about the upcoming [unconfirmed] Triple H vs. Brock Lesnar match at SummerSlam. Bauer, who worked with Triple H during his time with the company, thinks Triple H is the wrong opponent for the former UFC Heavyweight champion:
“He’s (Lesnar) a top a draw. It’s just how you apply a talent like that. Its kind of like, you look at movies. Everyone lays an egg, a rotten egg. But there’s still a lot of box office power behind them. You just gotta find the next one. The followup is critical for his success in WWE. I don’t feel Triple H is the right matchup for a lot of reasons both mechanically in the ring and in terms of long term investment.
If they (WWE) are really paying Brock Lesnar five million dollars for 20-25 dates and they brought in Paul Heyman for dollar X for X amount of dates. Do you believe that’s helping the company’s future by having Triple H beat him or lose to him when there’s so many, so many young talent that could use that TV exposure, could use that win if they are going to beat Brock Lesnar or even losing to Brock Lesnar look better? Triple H is not even a part-time wrestler at this point. So you really have to question the decision making going on there.”
– Both Stephanie McMahon and Jim Ross will be in St. Louis, Missouri next Monday, the site of that day’s unprecedented 1000th Raw episode. The WWE Hall of Famer appeared Wednesday on KREF Sports Talk 1400 The Ref and confirmed he would be on the show. He said he has no idea what his role will be. McMahon, who participated in a Twitter chat Tuesday and hinted but did not confirm an appearance on Raw, will be in the area that day for a ‘be a STAR’ anti-bullying at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis’ Herbert Hoover location (2901 N. Grand Ave.). She will be joined World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, The Miz, Eve and American Idol finalist James Durbin. Click here for event details.
– WWE and THQ have put out a Stone Cold Steve Austin promo of the highly anticipated upcoming WWE ’13 Game:
– Hulk Hogan posted a post-surgery video update from the hospital. He had another round of surgery due to lingering health issues. Hogan, is shown in his hospital bed along with long-time friend and business partner Jimmy Hart. He makes lighthearted comments about having another World Title run when he gets out of the hospital. TNA temporarily wrote Hogan him off TV with an attack by the Aces and Eights group on last week’s Impact, while he went to get the surgery.
Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers,like brand new brother ,nurse Jimmy taking good care of me. HH twitvid.com/46WLF