Nationals

Nix-led No. 22 Michigan State beats Nebraska 66-56

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Nix-led No. 22 Michigan State beats Nebraska 66-56

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Derrick Nix made two free throws with a minute left and finished with 17 points to help No. 22 Michigan State pull away for a 66-56 victory over Nebraska on Sunday night.

The Spartans (14-3, 3-1 Big Ten) have won three straight and kept the Cornhuskers (9-8, 0-4) from winning their first conference game this season.

Nebraska's David Rivers had 18 points, Dylan Talley scored 17 and Ray Gallegos added 12 points.

Spartans reserve Adreian Payne scored 14 points and Branden Dawson had 12 points.

Michigan State - and Dawson in particular - got a scare early in the second half when he was fouled and grabbed his surgically repaired left knee after tumbling to the court. Dawson later walked slowly off the court toward the locker room and was cleared to return much to the delight of the fans, who gave him a standing ovation. The sophomore standout showed his knee was very healthy in the final seconds, soaring to slam an alley-oop pass from Keith Appling for the final basket.

Michigan State didn't have much else to cheer about until late in a closely contested game.

Nix broke a 50-all tie with a layup with 6:17 left and Appling later connected on three free throws to give the Spartans a five-point lead, matching their largest to that time. After Nebraska pulled within a point, freshman Gary Harris responded with a 3-pointer that put Michigan State ahead 58-54 with 1:49 remaining during a 14-4 run.

The Huskers were without Brandon Ubel, who missed the game with an elbow injury. The 6-foot-10 senior is Nebraska's leading rebounder and third-leading scorer.

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Report: Dodgers are interested in Anthony Rendon in free agency

Report: Dodgers are interested in Anthony Rendon in free agency

Surprise, surprise. The Dodgers are interested in bidding for one of the Nationals top free agents once again.

This time, they are reportedly in on pursuing Anthony Rendon this offseason, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman

If you're thinking 'why would the Dodgers pursue another third baseman when they already have All-Star Justin Turner?' Heyman also reports that Turner has offered to change his position if necessary to bring in Rendon. 

ESPN's Buster Olney joined the Nationals Talk podcast earlier in September and thought that L.A. would make perfect sense for Rendon. 

"They are, to me, a team to watch cause Rendon is exactly the type of player that Andrew Freeman, their head of baseball ops there, values in on-base percentage and being a well-rounded hitter and being such a serious professional," Olney said. "Keep in mind, Justin Turner's got only one year left on his deal so Rendon could be the next third baseman." 

A lot about Rendon's destination and needs are unknown during this offseason. The third baseman is relatively brief with the media and a down-to-Earth type of player that does not strive for pomp and circumstance surrounding him. 

Earlier this season, the Nationals reportedly offered Rendon a seven-year, $210-$215 million deal. Roughly that is a $30 million average annual value, around the value Manny Machado got with the Padres a year ago. Machado's contract is second for third basemen, only behind's Nolan Arenado's eight-year, $260 million.

Last offseason the Dodgers were heavily invested in trying to lure Bryce Harper to L.A with a short-term deal. Clearly, they were unsuccessful. 

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Scott Boras addresses the futures of Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg at annual GM meetings

Scott Boras addresses the futures of Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg at annual GM meetings

Two of the Nationals biggest stars from their 2019 World Series run, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg, are now on the free-agent market and happen to have the same agent. That would be Scott Boras, who has dozens of clients, including former Nationals' outfielder Bryce Harper, and is known for getting them large contracts.

At Major League Baseball's annual general manager meetings in San Diego, California, Boras spoke to a crowd of reporters, addressing both player's futures in Washington.

"Any player that wins a world championship enjoyed where they played, what they did," Boras said. "These guys were truly in the oceans of the playoffs. Strasburg sank many championships."

"Rendon was a star in the playoffs, had an MVP type season," he continued. "Those environments there are great for him. He's built a throne there."

Boras mentioned that when going through the free agency process, it's important to address the comfortability that the player had with his previous organization.

"You look at them and say, 'are they comfortable there?'" Boras said.

Boras gave credit to Washington, emphasizing their drive to win and the winning culture they have built in the nation's capital.

"The ownership there is a place where players win at," Boras said on the Nationals. "They've been committed to winning, and it certainly creates a viable spot for all of them."

While Boras is saying everything Nationals fans want to hear, many of them will be on edge until either Rendon, Strasburg, or both commit long-term to the organization again. Otherwise, this 2019 World Series team will just be a flash.

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