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Shields, Davis get first look at K as Royals

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Shields, Davis get first look at K as Royals

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The last couple years, every time that Royals manager Ned Yost would stop to buy a cup of coffee, he would tell the barista his name was Frank.

The reason was simple: ``I didn't want them staring at me - `Drink for Ned!' - after losing 90 games a year,'' Yost said.

That all changed when he stopped by a Starbucks on Wednesday. Yost was accompanied by former All-Star James Shields, who along with Wade Davis arrived in Kansas City as part of a blockbuster trade with Tampa Bay over the weekend that should instantly upgrade the Royals' rotation.

``So now,'' Yost said, finishing his story, ``I'm sitting there thinking, `I'm not going to have to use Frank much longer.' I'm excited about that.''

The excitement extends beyond the manager, too. With the Chiefs struggling toward another losing finish, attention is already starting to shift ever so slowly to a baseball team that hasn't had a winning season since 2003 and hasn't made the postseason since 1985.

Shields and Davis, who were in Kansas City to undergo physicals, will be joined in a new-look rotation by Ervin Santana, who arrived in a trade with the Angels, and Jeremy Guthrie, who was a late-season revelation for the Royals and signed a three-year deal to stay with the team.

They'll stand on the mound surrounded by one of the best defenses in the American League, and a collection of young position players who are the envy of many other franchises.

``These two guys have winning flowing in their veins,'' Yost said. ``They're going to be a huge addition not only to our pitching staff, but our whole team.''

Shields immediately moves to the head of the rotation as the Royals' opening day starter.

The 30-year-old right-hander has been a stalwart in the Tampa Bay rotation for the past seven seasons, making the All-Star game two years ago, when he went 16-12 with a 2.82 ERA and was third in the AL Cy Young voting. He was 15-10 with a 3.51 ERA in 33 starts last season.

Perhaps most important, Shields has gone over the 200-inning mark each of the last six seasons, providing the kind of durable ace that Royals haven't had since Zack Greinke.

``I'm up for any challenge, there's no doubt,'' Shields said. ``But my goal here, as well as Wade's, is we're going to try to feed off each other.''

Shields will make $10.5 million this season and remains under club control next season, and will get an extra $750,000 as an assignment bonus because he was traded after the 2012 season.

Perhaps some of that money he'll ship to Guthrie.

He was introduced on Wednesday to reporters with the No. 24 jersey because Guthrie already wears his usual No. 33. Shields said he's ``in negotiations'' to claim his jersey, and the texts have been flowing back and forth already, but he wouldn't say what he's willing to give up.

``He's pretty stubborn, man, which I like,'' Shields said. ``It's a good trait in a pitcher.''

So is an overpowering fastball, which is something that Davis brings to the table.

The right-hander started 64 games for Tampa Bay from 2009-11, but he was sent to the bullpen last season when the Rays had an abundance of starters. Davis flourished as a reliever, going 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA, in part because he said he rediscovered his fastball.

``It's awesome to get the opportunity. Last year was a good learning experience for me,'' Davis said. ``It's just a little overwhelming the past couple days, but sitting back and thinking about it, it's a really exciting thing for me to be part of.''

Davis will make $2.8 million this season and $4.8 million in 2014, with the Royals holding three options, which means he could be in their rotation for the foreseeable future.

``It's important that we begin trying to win every single year, so all our places feed off one another's successes,'' Moore said. ``Everybody's success is tied together, and now we believe - and I made the decision - it's time to move forward with this group.''

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

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Wizards Tipoff podcast: Early favorites for Wizards' 1st round pick; Mark Turgeon joins the show

On the latest episode of the Wizards Tipoff podcast presented by Greenberg and Bederman, Chris Miller caught up with Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon at the NBA Combine.

Turgeon talked about his three draft-eligible players and what this time is like advising them. Chris and Chase Hughes also gave their early favorites for the Wizards' first round pick and their biggest takeaways from the NBA Combine measurements.

You can listen to the episode right here:

You can download the podcast on Apple Podcasts right here and on Google Play. If you like the show please tell your friends!

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

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Redskins G Arie Kouandjio likely out for the season

The news about Arie Kouandjio’s quad injury didn’t sound good when NBC Sports Washington broke it a couple of weeks ago. It didn’t sound any better when Jay Gruden said that they were seeking a second opinion. 

And now we have word that Kouandjio will be out for the season, per multiple media reports. While there was some initial hope that he might be able to play at some point this season, he is likely to be put on injured reserve soon. 

The corresponding move is expected to be the signing of guard Isaiah Williams, per JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington. He spent training camp with the Redskins in 2016 and 2017 before being released in the final cuts. Last year he also spent time with the Chiefs and the Colts but he has yet to appear in an NFL game. 

At worst, the Redskins have lost their starter at left guard. Kouandjio was set to compete with Shawn Lauvao for that job. Lauvao, who has been the starter at left guard going into the season for each of the last four years, would have been tough to unseat, but the 26-year-old Kouandjio may have had the inside track.

And at best, the Redskins lost experienced depth. Last year, when injuries hit hard along the offensive line, Kouandjio was re-signed and he started six games. It’s tough to lose experienced depth before the players even put pads on.

We will see if the Redskins make a move to shore up the guard position. Over the next couple of weeks, teams will be evaluating their veteran players and their rookies to see if they have younger and cheaper options. That could lead to some serviceable players getting released or some quality options being put on the trading block. 

The Redskins likely are set to get four compensatory draft picks in 2019, which would give them a total of 11 selections. They certainly could afford to deal one of those picks if they are offered a chance to upgrade at left guard. 

More 2018 Redskins

- 53-man roster: Player one-liners, offense
- Tandler’s Take: Best- and worst-case scenarios for 2018
- The draft: Redskins should get 4 additional picks in 2019 draft
- Schedule series: Gotta beat the Cowboys

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.