Preps Talk

Former All-Star signs in Japan

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Former All-Star signs in Japan

From Comcast SportsNetTOKYO (AP) -- Andruw Jones is headed to Japan.The five-time All-Star outfielder has finalized a 3.5 million, one-year contract with the Rakuten Eagles of Japan's Pacific League. The team announced the move on Sunday.The 35-year-old Jones became a free agent after spending the past two seasons as a part-time player with the New York Yankees. He appeared in 94 games this year, batting.197 with 14 home runs.Once one of the premier players in the big leagues, Jones broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-07 as their center fielder. He has 434 career home runs over 17 seasons in the majors and could provide a boost for the Eagles, whose 52 homers were the fewest in Japan last season.

EDGY: Top 5 Class of 2019 uncommitted prospects

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NBC Sports Chicago

EDGY: Top 5 Class of 2019 uncommitted prospects

With the early National Letter of Intent day fast approaching a week from tomorrow (December 19th) here is an update on the Top 5 Uncommitted names in the State of Illinois Class of 2019.

Crystal Lake South four star ranked offensive tackle Trevor Keegan (6-foot-3, 2310 pounds)- Keegan, the state's top ranked name in the Class of 2019 has narrowed down his extensive list of scholarship offers to a Top 3 schools (in no order Michigan, Georgia and Penn State) is set to make his announcement this Friday at 6PM at a press conference at his high school. Keegan has already made official visits to all three schools and has been very hush hush on which school has the inside lead for his services.

Momence three star ranked defensive end Jason Bargy (6-foot-5, 240 pounds)- Bargy was arrested for domestic battery on October 11th and his verbal commitment to Minnesota back in May has since been dropped by the Gophers. Bargy was arraigned on December 5th and according to Kankakee County Court records his case will be heard on January 9th, 2019.

Belleville West three star ranked defensive end Keith Randolph (6-foot-5, 250 pounds)- Randolph, who has been playing football for just the past two years was a standout on the basketball court for the 2017 state championship Maroons. Randolph made his first football official visit to Michigan State this past weekend. Randolph is also expected to make a second official visit this coming weekend to either Illinois or Iowa and it's still not clear if Randolph will sign on December 19th or wait and make more official visits then sign on February 6th, 2019.

Phillips three star ranked wide receiver Fabian McCray (6-foot-2, 180 pounds)- McCray, who committed to Illinois back in early July decided to reopen his recruiting process and decommitted from the Fighting Illini on November 4th. McCray, who took an official visit to Toledo this past weekend is looking hard at schools such as Toledo, Cincinnati, Iowa State and Cal and it's unclear for now on whether McCray will make any other official visits and/or sign a letter of intent on December 19th or wait until the traditional Signing Day on February 6th, 2019.

Perspectives three star ranked defensive tackle Dominic Moore (6-foot-7, 287 pounds)- Moore is literally the biggest uncommitted name left on the recruiting radar screen. Moore, who has drawn recent late interest from a handful of schools but for the most part has been focused on Wyoming, Illinois, Central Michigan and New Mexico. Moore has yet to set up any official visits but is planning to take official visits in January. Moore, who has NFL level size and potential could also draw more late recruiting attention after the early signing period is completed on December 19th.

White Sox plug one rotation hole, acquire Ivan Nova in trade with Pirates

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USA TODAY

White Sox plug one rotation hole, acquire Ivan Nova in trade with Pirates

LAS VEGAS — The White Sox have crossed one item off their offseason to-do list.

The South Siders acquired starting pitcher Ivan Nova in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, plugging one of the two holes in their starting rotation. In exchange, the White Sox sent pitching prospect Yordi Rosario and international signing bonus pool money.

The White Sox needed to add a pair of starting pitchers this winter, what with Michael Kopech slated to miss the entire 2019 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery and James Shields departed via free agency. Adding Nova accomplishes that goal, also adding a veteran presence to a young starting staff that only featured Carlos Rodon, Reynaldo Lopez and Lucas Giolito.

Nova has just one year of team control remaining on his current contract, meaning he will be a short-term solution, likely a one-year fill-in while the White Sox wait on Kopech’s recovery and Dylan Cease’s development in the minor leagues, rather than a long-term piece of the rebuilding White Sox future. But he could bring a ton of value as a clubhouse mentor, similar to the role that Shields played last season.

Nova, who turns 32 next month, hasn’t found a great deal of statistical success of late. After posting a 3.10 ERA with the New York Yankees in 2013, he owns a 4.44 ERA in the five seasons since with the Yankees and Pirates. In his three seasons in Pittsburgh, he posted a 3.99 ERA. But he has a greater value to the White Sox, not expected to contend for a playoff spot in 2019, as someone who can take the ball every fifth day, eat up innings and help out the young South Side bullpen. Nova logged 161 innings last season with the Pirates.

Certainly the White Sox are not done, still needing to fill another spot in the rotation, as well as to make additions in the bullpen, at catcher and in the outfield. And that’s all independent of their reported pursuits of mega free agents Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. But they’ve filled one need with this move.

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