Report: Cards backing off Murray as No. 1 pick; sticking with Rosen?

Report: Cards backing off Murray as No. 1 pick; sticking with Rosen?

The Arizona Cardinals are backing off their plan to select Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft this Thursday, according to Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.

That could mean the Cards are sticking with Josh Rosen as their QB. The Patriots had been rumored this offseason to be interested in acquiring Rosen, a first-round pick in 2018 out of UCLA, as a backup to Tom Brady.

Here's Prisco's assessment, via CBS Sports HQ: 

Initially, the ownership pushed for Kyler Murray. That much I know, I was told that. The reason they did is they are having a hard time selling tickets. Well, they put it out there. Arizona was lukewarm to it. All of a sudden, they are pulling back and from what I've been told, they are going to go in a different direction. They are not going to draft Kyler Murray.

Prisco now has Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams going No. 1 to Arizona in his mock draft and Murray going No. 4 to the Oakland Raiders. The Patriots? Prisco sees them taking Ohio State receiver Parris Campbell at No. 32 overall 

The Pats' interest in Rosen, meanwhile, has been characterized as a long shot by NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry and something we shouldn't be holding our breath over by our Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran.

Perry, by the way, still has the Cards sticking with Murray as the top pick and the Patriots trading out of the first round. Click here for more. 

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Don't look for Swihart behind the plate in Arizona either

Don't look for Swihart behind the plate in Arizona either

At least part of the reason the Red Sox parted ways with Blake Swihart was said to be their lack of faith in his catching ability.

It sounds as if Swihart's new team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, doesn't plan on using him a lot at catcher, either. Dbacks GM Mike Hazen, the former Red Sox GM was in Boston's front office when Swihart was a first-round pick in 2011. He told the Arizona Republic he sees the versatile Swihart moving among several positions.

“We really like his bat and think he has a chance to hit,” Hazen said. “If he ended up in a spot where he got to play every day and did what we felt like he could do with the bat, we wouldn’t have had a chance to acquire him.”  

Look for Swihart to fill in at both corner outfield spots, first, third and even second base, Hazen said. Swihart, 27, appeared in one game at second and three at third in his Red Sox career. Hazen said doesn't see him displacing any of the three catchers on Arizona's roster.

When asked where he envisioned Swihart playing, Hazen said, “It could be behind the plate. It could be at a different position.”

A stint in left for the Red Sox ended disastrously for Swihart in 2016 when he injured his ankle colliding with the side wall in left field at Fenway Park. He was limited to only six games the following season before bouncing back last year to appear in 82 games (catching in 28). He hit .229. 

Swihart was designated for assignment earlier this week before the Sox worked out a trade with Arizona on Friday. They also sent $500,000 in international bonus pool money to the Dbacks in exchange for minor league outfielder Marcus Wilson, 22, ranked Arizona's No. 20 prospect by Baseball America. He was hitting .235 with a .879 OPS and two homers in 12 games for Double-A Jackson. Last year, he hit .235 with a .678 OPS, 10 homers and 26 doubles with Class A Visalia. 

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Red Sox trade rumors: Dombrowski:says to look for Swihart deal within 24 hours

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File photo

Red Sox trade rumors: Dombrowski:says to look for Swihart deal within 24 hours

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski told reporters that he expects to finalize a trade of catcher Blake Swihart in the next 24 hours.

Swihart, 27, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Tuesday. That move gives the team seven days to trade, release or have him accept a minor league assignment. Dombrowski, speaking Friday to reporters in St. Petersburg, where the Sox open a three-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays, that there could be an announcement on a Swihart deal as soon as tonight. 

After announcing the DFA move on Tuesday, Dombrowski said he had been trying to trade Swihart since last spring training. The Houston Astros were rumored this week to be a possible destination for the native of Bedford, Texas, who was a first-round pick of the Sox in 2011. The organization parted ways with him in favor of calling up veteran catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A Pawtucket, who was viewed as a superior game-caller and defensive catcher.

Theo Epstein, now team president of the Chicago Cubs, and Mike Hazen, now general manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, were in the Red Sox front office when Swihart was drafted and have plenty of familiarity with him. 

Swihart was hitting .231 (4-for-26) in 12 games this season with a .695 OPS, a homer and four RBI after hitting .229 with a .613 OPS, three homers and 18 RBI in 82 games last season. 

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