Redskins

Red Sox avoid arbitration with 7, sign Ellsbury

Red Sox avoid arbitration with 7, sign Ellsbury

BOSTON (AP) The Boston Red Sox signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a one-year contract on Friday, avoiding arbitration with the outfielder.

The oft-injured Ellsbury, 29, a 2011 All-Star, saw a drop in his production last year, finishing with a .271 average, four home runs and 26 RBIs. He will make $9 million, a year after making $8.05 million.

Ellsbury missed 79 games after suffering a right shoulder subluxation April 13. He returned to the lineup July 13 and played in 67 games. In 2011, he was named American League Comeback Player of the Year, and established career highs in home runs (32), run (119), hits (212), and RBIs (105).

The Red Sox also agreed to terms with right-handers Alfredo Aceves ($2.65 million), Andrew Bailey ($4.1 million), Daniel Bard ($1.86 million), and Joel Hanrahan ($7.04 million), as well as left-handers Andrew Miller ($1.47 million), and Franklin Morales ($1.48 million), to one-year, non-guaranteed contracts.

Boston left-hander Craig Breslow is the last player eligible for salary arbitration still unsigned. If he remains without a deal, arbitration hearings can start next month. Breslow made $1.79 million last season. He asked for $2.37 million, and was offered $2.32 million.

Aceves, 30, who shifted over to the closer role last season after Bailey was injured, posted a career-high 25 saves, as the Red Sox stumbled to a 69-93 season. He finished second among AL relievers with 84 innings, and closed with a 2-10 mark. Aceves asked for $3 million, was offered $2.3 million and settled for the midpoint.

Hanrahan, 31, who made the All-Star team twice as a closer in Pittsburgh, was acquired by the Red Sox Dec. 26. He went 5-2 with a 2.72 ERA and 67 strikeouts last season, posting 36 saves. He made $4.1 million last season.

Bailey, 28, appeared in just 19 games due to right thumb surgery, posting a 1-1 record with six saves.

Bard, 27, made the first 10 starts of his career, going 5-6 for the Red Sox with a 6.22 ERA.

Miller, 27, went 3-2 with a 3.35 ERA and 51 strikeouts, posting a career high for holds (13).

And Morales, 26, made nine starts in his first full season.

The Red Sox lost their final eight games last season, forcing a managerial change for the second time in as many years. Out went Bobby Valentine, in came John Farrell. Under Valentine, Boston finished 26 games behind the division-champion New York Yankees in the AL East.

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

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Not everyone thinks the Redskins need to invest more at wide receiver

While the rumors about the Redskins potentially trading for Marvin Jones from over the weekend were total nonsense, a reason they resonated so much with fans is because many believe Washington needs major help at wide receiver.

But during a segment of Monday's Redskins 100 show, analyst Trevor Matich assessed the position group and actually thinks that, as a whole, the team should be relatively pleased with the talent it has outside.

"I like it better than I have in recent years, especially if Paul Richardson stays healthy," Matich said.

His "especially" qualifier is a common one, and that's because Richardson is the most established wideout currently on the roster — and he still has just 1,564 career receiving yards to his name. However, a healthy Richardson (which the 'Skins never really saw in his first year, considering he got injured early in training camp and was never the same) provides Jay Gruden the field stretcher he loves to have.

Richardson isn't the only player Matich is anxious to see, though.

"Terry McLaurin, their draft choice from Ohio State, is legitimately a 4.3 guy," he said. "He gets deep down the field and catches the ball in space."

One of the biggest issues for the 2018 Redskins was a lack of speed at every single spot. In Richardson and McLaurin, the Burgundy and Gold now have a pair of pass catchers who can fly past corners, do damage 30-plus yards down the sideline and open things up for other targets as well.

Overall, in reacting to the Jones storyline, Matich really doesn't see a huge need for the organization to make any additions to that collection of pieces. 

"I think that when you take a look at all the other guys, Trey Quinn in the slot, things like that, this receiving corps is fine," he said. "It's not desperate. They don't need to invest resources to bring extra people in."

Now, is "fine" and "not desperate" the level the front office and coaches want their receivers to be? Of course not. But Matich's stance is intriguing, because he's content with who'll be lining up there while plenty of others absolutely don't see it that way and feel a trade would be prudent.

If you're in that second group, recent history indicates this is the dead zone for NFL deals. So try not to waste your time refreshing Twitter over and over and over.

Perhaps Washington gets to Richmond and, after a few weeks of practices and a couple of exhibition contests, realizes their depth chart could use another name. Or maybe an injury happens and forces their hand. But according to Matich, as of now, the offense can function with the parts it has in place.

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Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on staying in Toronto: 'In my mind, I'm here'

Raptors GM Masai Ujiri on staying in Toronto: 'In my mind, I'm here'

Just a few weeks ago, the Masai Ujiri-to-D.C. movement was gaining steam quickly. Just moments after Ujiri and the Toronto Raptors began celebrating their NBA Championship, rumors began to swirl that the Wizards were prepared to aggressively pursue the GM.

Some reports even mentioned a sort of mega-deal that went beyond just giving him control of the Wizards.

Fast forward a few weeks, and the tables have turned quickly. It now seems that Ujiri will remain in Toronto, judging by his comments on Tuesday.

"I love it here, my family loves it here. My wife loves it here, which is very important. My kids are Canadians. You want to win more, for me," Ujiri said on Tuesday during his end-of-season press conference that aired on TSN. 

"Yeah, I can continue to address teams wanting me and all those things. That's a blessing in life," Ujiri said. "For me the blessing is being wanted here and finding a place that makes you happy, and finding challenges that really make you grow as a person. This place has made me grow as a person."

"I identify with this place and I love it. So in my mind, I'm here."

On paper, Ujiri and the Wizards looked to be a good match. Washington could offer him money and control, while also allowing him to work with his "Basketball without Borders" program in D.C.

However, the bond Ujiri has formed with the Toronto franchise and the city has become an extra factor playing largely into his decision.

As NBC Sports' Tom Haberstroh explained recently, the Raptors late-season championship run could have messed up the timing and situation that could have lured Ujiri to a new team.

The Wizards made it through the NBA Draft without a new GM, but as July and free agency approach, the search will continue to ramp up.

The answer is still out there, it just may not be Masai Ujiri anymore.

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