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Giants, Scutaro agree to $20 million, 3-year deal

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Giants, Scutaro agree to $20 million, 3-year deal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Second baseman Marco Scutaro is staying in San Francisco, right where he wanted to be.

The NL championship series MVP agreed to a $20 million, three-year contract with the Giants late Tuesday. Vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said only a physical was left to finalize the deal.

``He was a priority from Day One,'' Evans said. ``He was a key part of our 2012 success and served as a tremendous veteran presence.''

Earlier in the evening, Scutaro had been weighing a two-year contract offer that included a vesting option - but he was seeking a three-year deal to remain with the World Series champions. The Giants and Scutaro's representatives met Tuesday at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tenn.

In other moves, the Giants exercised 2014 contract options on manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean.

The 37-year-old Scutaro batted .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 61 regular-season games with the Giants after he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Colorado. He frequently said how much he enjoyed playing for San Francisco and that he hoped he would return.

The Giants suddenly have quite a familiar roster returning after making two big moves in as many days to keep their own free agents. On Monday, center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a $40 million, four-year contract.

Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt received an $18 million, three-year contract on Nov. 14.

Retaining Affeldt, Pagan and Scutaro were among the top priorities for Sabean and Evans this offseason.

Giants CEO Larry Baer considered it a productive winter meetings - and offseason so far - for his busy club after already re-signing Affeldt last month. Winning the World Series for the second time in three seasons put San Francisco behind on its offseason plan again, though everyone in the front office would say that's a great problem to have.

``Culture is important, and Marco is a wonderful influence with our players, especially the Latin players,'' Baer said.

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.''

San Francisco declined Friday to tender a contract to closer Brian Wilson, the 2010 major league saves leader with 48. The right-hander is working his way back from a second Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.

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Trotz's future in Washington remains unsettled on eve Stanley Cup Final

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USA TODAY Sports

Trotz's future in Washington remains unsettled on eve Stanley Cup Final

Caps Coach Barry Trotz doesn’t have a contract beyond the Stanley Cup Final, and any potential talks about an extension will wait until the trophy is awarded, GM Brian MacLellan said Friday.

“No,” MacLellan said, asked if a decision on Trotz’s future had been made. “We’re going to address everything after the playoffs are over.”

Trotz’s four-year contract expires at season’s end.

It’s rare for a head coach to enter a season while in the final year of his deal. But that’s how the Caps decided to handle Trotz’s situation last offseason after another strong regular season performance ended with yet another second round playoff exit at the hands of the Penguins.

It was a suboptimal situation for Trotz, a 55-year-old who ranks fifth all-time in regular season victories but, until this year, had never led any team beyond the conference semifinals.

Despite his lame duck status, all Trotz did was produce his best coaching performance to date. 

Consider:

  • While visiting his son in Russia last summer, Trotz visited Alex Ovechkin in Moscow to discuss the changes he’d like to see the Caps’ captain make to his training and his game.
  • When the Caps reconvened for training camp in September, it was clear there were still some hurt feelings in the locker room. So Trotz and his assistants backed off, allowing some necessary healing to occur.
  • When the team suffered back-to-back blowout losses in Nashville and Colorado back in November, Trotz initiated a tell-it-like-it-is team meeting that many players have pointed to as the turning point of the regular season, which ended with the team’s third straight Metropolitan title.
  • Trotz also got his highly-skilled lineup to buy into a more structured, detailed style of play late in the campaign, a transformation that prompted MacLellan to call this playoff run the most defensively responsible of Trotz’s tenure.
  • In each of the two previous conference semifinals, Washington was defeated by Pittsburgh and, as a result, the Penguins had become a physical and a mental hurdle for the Caps. Earlier this month, Trotz helped direct Ovechkin and Co. past the two-time Cup champions.

Although MacLellan wouldn’t say much about Trotz’s contract, he did say that he’s noticed a big change in Trotz’s day-to-day approach to his job, a change possibly prompted by the coach’s free agent status.

“I think his demeanor has changed a little bit,” MacLellan said. “He seems a little lighter, a little looser, a little less pressure. Maybe a little more freedom about how he goes about things. He’s more relaxed, I guess would be the way to describe him.”

MacLellan also acknowledged the job Trotz’s has done this season, beginning with his delicate handling of the dressing room to start the year.

“I think he’s done a good job managing it,” MacLellan said. “To come in this year with so many questions—from my point of view, the lineup questions weren’t that big of a deal—but just the emotional state of our coming into to start the year [and] how to handle that. I think he’s done an outstanding job.”

Indeed, Trotz’s situation remains unclear on the eve of the Final. But we do know this much: He’s having one of the best contract years in NHL coaching history.

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Small Virginia town changes name to Capitalsville ahead of Stanley Cup Final

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FB/The Town of Lovettsville

Small Virginia town changes name to Capitalsville ahead of Stanley Cup Final

Welcome to Capitalsville, Va., population: #ALLCAPS

Hoping to become the Washington Capitals' Stanley Cup headquarters, the small Northern Virginia town of Lovettsville has renamed itself to Capitalsville, Va.

Caps superfan and Mayor of Lovettsville, Bob Zoldos, had a lightbulb moment while watching Game 7 in a local bar and restaurant, Velocity Wings. Overcome with emotion from the win, he decided to take his idea to the town council meeting Thursday and Capitalsville was born after a unanimous vote to "unleash the fury."

This is not the first time name changes have occurred ahead of a big game. Ahead of the Caps' first-round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Blue Jacket Brewery located in downtown D.C. changed its Twitter handle to "Grujacket Brewery" in support of goaltender Philipp Grubauer.

The name change from Lovettsville to Capitalsville is temporary, with the plan to keep the new name through the end of the Stanley Cup Final. However, Zoldos hopes the sign brings in other Caps superfans from across the DMV to take in a piece of history 20 years in the making. 

Here's to hoping Capitalsville brings the city some luck heading into Game 1 on Memorial Day.

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