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AP source: Ibanez, Mariners agree to $2.75M deal

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AP source: Ibanez, Mariners agree to $2.75M deal

NEW YORK (AP) Raul Ibanez and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday night.

The deal allows Ibanez to earn an additional $1.25 million in performance bonuses, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced.

Ibanez returns to the team he began his big league career with from 1996-00, then rejoined from 2004-08.

Now 40, Ibanez spent the past season with the New York Yankees and became popular with fans for his late-game home runs. He had hoped to remain with New York, but the Yankees have moved slowly during the offseason.

Ibanez hit .240 with 19 homers and 62 RBIs in 384 at-bats, his pull swing making him a natural for the short right-field porch at Yankee Stadium. He batted just .197 with five RBIs in 61 at-bats against left-handers.

Including the playoffs, Ibanez hit five home runs that tied the score for the Yankees and eight that put New York ahead, according to STATS. He homered twice after entering as a pinch hitter on Sept. 22 in a 10-9, 14-inning win over Oakland. And with New York fighting for the AL East title, he delivered a tying, pinch-hit homer against Boston in the ninth on Oct. 2 and then singled in the winning run in the 12th.

Then in Game 3 of the division series against Baltimore, he became the first player in major league history to homer twice in a postseason game he didn't start. He pinch-hit for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning and hit a tying home run, then hit a winning shot in the 12th.

Three days later his two-run homer in a four-run ninth inning tied the AL championship series opener against Detroit, a game the Yankees lost 6-4 in 12 innings as the Tigers started their way to a four-game sweep.

Ibanez had a $1.1 million base salary last season and earned another $2.05 million in performance bonuses.

He joins a Seattle team that added power-hitting Kendrys Morales earlier in the week in a trade that sent left-hander Jason Vargas to the Los Angeles Angels. Former Yankees prospect Jesus Montero started 77 games at designated hitter last season for the Mariners and 55 behind the plate, so Ibanez's acquisition by the Mariners could make catcher John Jaso expendable. Jaso made 39 starts behind the plate and 44 at DH.

In 17 major league seasons that also included time with Kansas City (2001-03) and Philadelphia (2009-11), Ibanez has a .278 career average with 271 home runs and 1,116 RBIs.

With Ichiro Suzuki likely to see most of his time in a corner outfield spot because New York hasn't attempted to re-sign Nick Swisher, Ibanez's departure leaves the Yankees searching for a left-handed bat for a part-time designated hitter role. New York's priority before filling that spot appears to be a right-handed bat because Andruw Jones left for Rakuten in Japan after a subpar season and all three starting outfielders - Suzuki, Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner - are left-handed hitters.

Ibanez's deal was negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson.

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NFL Draft 2019 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

NFL Draft 2019 Redskins live blog: First round draft updates, analysis

The 2019 NFL Draft is finally upon us. You can trash the mock drafts and take a break from the Twitter rumors as we'll soon know what each team is really planning.

Tonight, Thursday, April 25, NFL teams will look to find their next franchise player in the form of the most talented college prospects in the country.

Taking place in Nashville, Tennessee, this year's draft promises to be as exciting as ever with numerous storylines dominating the event. Will Kyler Murray go No. 1? Where will the other QBs fall, and will a team move up to grab one? What defensive players go first? All these questions and more will be answered soon enough.

The Arizona Cardinals will kick off the festivities at 8:00 p.m. ET as they possess the first overall pick in the draft.

As for the Redskins, they'll be picking at No. 15, though there has been no shortage of rumors that a move could be made to climb up the order.

Once the commissioner takes the stage, all predictions go out the window. Luckily, we'll have you covered with all the picks, trades and moves here in the live blog and draft tracker.

NFL Draft 2019 Redskins First-Round Tracker and Live Updates:

6:30 p.m. - Less than two hours until the clock starts ticking, there's plenty of information to get caught up on. Here's what you need to know:

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Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Bradley Beal

Wizards 2018-19 end of season grades: Bradley Beal

Now that the dust has settled for the 2018-19 Wizards season, it's time to review the roster and hand out individual grades...

Who: Bradley Beal, shooting guard

2018-19 stats: 36.9 mpg, 25.6 ppg, 5.5 apg, 5.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, 0.7 bpg, 2.7 tov, 47.5 FG%, 35.1 3P% (2.5/7.3), 54.0 eFG%, 80.8 FT% (4.4/5.5), 113 ortg, 114 drtg

Best game: 1/13 vs. Raptors - 43 points, 15 assists, 10 rebounds, three steals, two blocks, 6-12 3PT

Grade: A+

Season review: One could argue that nobody deserves a higher grade in the Wizards organization for their 2018-19 season than Bradley Beal, who had by far the best individual year of any player on the team. He had high expectations coming into the season and exceeded them, taking the next step from an All-Star to a legitimate All-NBA candidate.

Beal also continued to represent the organization well in public. He spoke for the team after many difficult losses with poise and maturity. And he brought positive attention to the franchise for his charitable efforts, recently being named as a finalist for the league's community assist award.

Beal's on-court performance was a shining light amid a disastrous season overall for the team. He set career-highs in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals and free throw attempts. He played in all 82 games for the second straight season and never complained despite leading the NBA in minutes.

The most impressive part of Beal's season may be how he responded when John Wall went down due to injury. Wall last played on Dec. 26 and in the next 47 games, Beal averaged 27.2 points, 6.0 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.8 steals. 

Beal's final numbers put him in elite company. He became the first 25-5-5 player in Wizards/Bullets franchise history. He was one of only six players to reach that mark this season, a list that includes Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, James Harden, Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry.

Even as the season was winding down and the Wizards were well out of playoff contention, Beal gave an honest and consistent effort. That stood out in a year in which some of his teammates did not play hard and were called out by head coach Scott Brooks and team leaders for doing so. 

Now Beal, of course, had many reasons to keep giving 100 percent. With the numbers he has put up, he could make All-NBA in late May and, if he does, will qualify for a supermax contract. That could mean tens of millions more on his next deal, if he chooses to sign back with the Wizards.

As Beal looks ahead to this summer and next season, another question is how much better he can become. He took a significant step from the All-Star year he had in 2017-18. What if he makes another, similar leap?

Beal upped his scoring average by three points year-over-year. Another jump like that could put him in the MVP conversation, depending on how the Wizards finish in the standings.

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