Celtics

...this player gets 40 million

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...this player gets 40 million

From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Giants general manager Brian Sabean can check two big boxes off his winter to-do list.San Francisco and free-agent center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a 40 million, four-year contract Monday as the winter meetings got under way in Nashville, Tenn.Bobby Evans, the team's vice president of baseball operations, said the deal with Pagan was "very close" and the leadoff hitter would be subject to a physical to finalize his return to the reigning World Series champions.Retaining Pagan was among the top priorities for Sabean this offseason, along with keeping recently re-signed left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt and second baseman Marco Scutaro. Affeldt received an 18 million, three-year contract Nov. 14.The 31-year-old Pagan batted .288 with eight home runs, 56 RBIs and a San Francisco-best 15 triples in his first season with the Giants. Pagan said late in the season and again after the World Series parade that he hoped to return, but wanted to test free agency and sought some job security in the form of a multiyear deal.On Friday, Sabean said the club had made backup plans to move forward without Pagan or Scutaro in case neither decided to re-sign -- but progress with Pagan apparently happened during the weekend after Sabean said, "We don't have a deal, so that tells you we're not close."Whether NL championship series MVP Scutaro returns is still a question. He very well could have a new suitor in the mix after the New York Yankees said Monday that third baseman Alex Rodriguez will have surgery on his left hip and could be lost until the 2013 All-Star break.Sabean said he likely wouldn't address his bullpen until after first negotiating with the representatives for Pagan and Scutaro.The 37-year-old Scutaro hit .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 61 games with the Giants after he was acquired in a trade with the Colorado Rockies.San Francisco declined Friday to tender a contract to closer Brian Wilson, who is recovering from a second Tommy John surgery on his right elbow.NOTES:Giants senior vice president of communications Staci Slaughter received the 2012 Robert O. Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence on Monday night in Nashville.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Jayson Tatum vs. Markelle Fultz debate

0:41 - Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions on the Celtics getting their first win of the season and a comparison between Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving in the 4th quarter.

7:17 - Phil Perry joins BST to break down the tale of the tape between the Falcons and the Patriots as he breaks down the quarterbacks, offense, defense, coaching, and intangibles between the two teams.

11:57 - Our crew on BST discuss number 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz and number 3 overall pick Jayson Tatum going up against each other and debate who seems like the better pick so far. 

16:35 - In this segment of Irrelevant Questions, Tom Curran interviews Patriots WR Phillip Dorsett as he asks him a bunch of random questions. 

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE

ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

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ALCS: Verlander, Astros beat Yankees 7-1 to force Game 7

HOUSTON -  Justin Verlander remained perfect with Houston, pitching seven shutout innings when the team needed him most, and Jose Altuve homered and drove in three runs as the Astros extended the AL Championship Series to a decisive Game 7 with a 7-1 win over the New York Yankees on Friday night.

Acquired in an Aug. 31 trade, Verlander has won all nine outings with the Astros. And with his new club facing elimination in Game 6 against the Yankees, he delivered again.

After striking out 13 in a complete-game victory in Game 2, Verlander threw another gem. The right-hander scattered five hits and struck out eight to improve to 9-0 with 67 strikeouts since being traded from Detroit. George Springer helped him out of a jam in the seventh, leaping to make a catch at the center-field wall and rob Todd Frazier of extra bases with two on and Houston up 3-0.

Game 7 is Saturday night in Houston, with the winner advancing to the World Series against the NL champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

NBC SPORTS BOSTON SCHEDULE