Mariners Make a Move

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The Seattle Mariners have reacquired first baseman Kendrys Morales in a trade with the Minnesota Twins for minor-league pitcher Stephen Pryor.

The deal was done Thursday.

Morales spent under seven weeks with the Twins, who signed him to boost their lineup as a designated hitter but have used him often at first base with Joe Mauer injured. Morales hit .234 in 39 games with 11 doubles, one home run and 18 RBIs.

Morales had 23 home runs and 80 RBIs last year for the Mariners, both the second-highest season totals of his career.

The 25-year-old Prior has appeared in 34 games for the Mariners since 2012, posting a 2.81 ERA. He will report to Triple-A Rochester.

The Twins also recalled infielder Jorge Polanco from Class A Fort Myers

Lynch Holding Out

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NFL running backs need to get their money when they can get it, which isn’t often and doesn’t last very long.

For Marshawn Lynch, that time is now, even if the Seattle Seahawks don’t seem very willing to accommodate him.

The Seahawks’ running back, who likes to let his play do the talking, will let his absence from training camp speak volumes. Lynch will hold out of camp as he attempts to have his current contract sweetened, sources told FOX Sports.

Lynch, 28, is due $5 million in base salary this season and another $500,000 in the form of a per-game roster bonus. He recently watched as the Kansas City Chiefs gave Jamaal Charles an added $5.1 million total over the next two seasons, with Charles now scheduled to make $8.3 million this season.

A source informed of Lynch’s reasoning for holding out said he would like to have his compensation brought in line with what Charles is now owed. Charles, who is eight months younger than Lynch, had 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season; Lynch had 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. The source said Lynch believes his tone-setting, physical style of play and the fact the Seahawks are a run-oriented offense (their 420 passing attempts were the second-fewest in the league last year, while their 509 rushes were second-most) should translate into some added dollars this year.

The Super Bowl champs gave extensions to cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Doug Baldwin but resisted Lynch’s attempts to get a new contract in the spring. He eventually showed up for minicamp after hinting he might not participate. But this time around, he seems set to make a statement until he gets his wish. This could be a long standoff between sides that appear unwilling to budge.

Appearing on NFL Network, former teammate Michael Robinson said he spoke with Lynch and confirmed his plans.

”I really think he just wants his position in the organization and how they view him, he just wants that recalibrated a little bit,” Robinson said on NFL Network. ”He’s been the face of the franchise, he’s been the face of the organization.”

Seattle’s plan is to make sure Lynch is healthy for the season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, which would mean a very light load of carries during training camp and the preseason.

Even though the Seahawks staff expressed during the offseason getting more carries for reserves Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, coach Pete Carroll reiterated during minicamp that Seattle’s run game begins with Lynch.

”We have rested him a lot in the offseason. He takes a big pounding during the year. It takes him a long time to get his body back to where he doesn’t feel the rigors of the season that’s past,” Carroll said in June. ”In this case it’s unique but he is a unique player and he has a unique role on our football team, so we have to do what we have to do to take care of him.”

Robinson said he believes that Lynch eventually will play this season.

”I think Marshawn will be playing football this year. I don’t know how they’re going to get it done, I don’t know how they’re going to make it work, but that team is not the championship team that they can be without Beast Mode,” Robinson said.

Lynch can be fined for missing training camp and he’s shown in the past being adverse to losing money via fines. Last season Lynch begrudgingly began speaking to the media during the playoffs in an effort to avoid hefty financial penalties from the league. That included memorable sessions during Super Bowl week where he answered questions for about 20 combined minutes during three days of league-mandated media availability.

Mariners Break up Perfect Game-Lose 3-2 to Mets

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Bartolo Colon watched the line drive fall into the outfield grass and applauded. It was all Colon could do after his attempt to toss the first perfect game in New York Mets history was thwarted.

Colon came within seven outs of a perfect game on Wednesday afternoon, before giving up a two-out single to Robinson Cano in the seventh inning of the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Mariners.

Colon left a 2-2 fastball elevated on the outer half of the plate and Cano served the pitch into left field, dropping it well in front of Eric Young Jr.

“You’re a little disappointed when they get a hit, but that’s what they’re trying to do,” Colon said through an interpreter. “They’re trying to get a hit and break up the no-hitter.”

New York manager Terry Collins went one step further than disappointment. He was certain if Colon was able to get Cano to finish off the seventh he would have completed the perfect game. Collins was the Mets manager when Johan Santana ended New York’s franchise drought without a no-hitter in 2012.

“No doubt. There is no doubt in my mind that if he got by Cano he ramps it up. You see it a lot,” Collins said. “But you know, great game by him.”

A no-hitter is one of the few things missing from Colon’s resume. He has a Cy Young. He’s won a World Series title. He’s made a career comeback after injuries left him out of baseball in 2010.

At age 41, Colon is pitching well enough that he’s regularly being talked about as trade fodder for teams needing a starter with the non-waiver trade deadline rapidly approaching.

“I don’t know anything about that,” Colon said. “Those are decisions for the upper management and you can’t control that stuff.”

Colon retired the first 20 batters he faced before Cano’s single. Colon then had to hold on as Seattle rallied in the eighth and came within inches of tying the game on Brad Miller’s RBI double that hit off the top of the wall.

Colon (9-8) improved to 13-1 all time at Safeco Field, including his dominance of the Mariners when he was pitching for the Angels from 2004-07. Seattle had no answers for the rotund right-hander, who gave up two runs and three hits in 7 1/3 innings.

“He was a Cy Young class guy,” Cano said. “He knows how to pitch. Back in the day when the guy threw hard, everything was middle of the plate, fastball. Now you see a different guy that moves the ball, both sides, and a pretty good change up.”

Colon, who threw a one-hitter for the Angels against the Yankees in 2000, was cruising until the seventh against the Mariners on Wednesday. He got the first two outs of the seventh, but Cano’s single ended the bid for perfection. Cano was hitting .400 against Colon entering the game.

Sidney Rice Retires

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NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Rice has decided to retire, according to a source who has spoken with the wide receiver. ProFootballTalk first reported Wednesday that Rice is retiring due to a history of concussions.

Rice had been expected to be in a camp battle this summer for a role as an outside receiver in Seattle. He re-signed with the Seahawks in June after the team released the veteran as a salary-cap casualty in February.

Injuries have been a major part of Rice’s career arc since being taken in the second round of the 2007 draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He’s missed 25 games since the 2010 season and had been recovering from a torn ACL suffered in Week 8 of last season.

Rice’s best season came in 2009 in Minnesota (the good Brett Favre year), when he had 83 receptions for 1,312 yards and eight touchdowns. That led to a five-year, $41 million deal with the Seahawks in 2010, a deal general manager John Schneider lived to regret.

NFL Rankings

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The Seattle Seahawks start the preseason right where they ended last season, as the No. 1 team in the AP Pro32 NFL power rankings.

In balloting by 12 media members who regularly cover the NFL, the top three teams in the AP Pro32 were the Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

The Super Bowl champion Seahawks grabbed 11 first-place votes on Tuesday and had 383 points.

”The world champions are still intact and have the ability to repeat, but that’s a long way off,” said Pat Kirwan of SiriusXM NFL Radio/CBSSports.com.

Their NFC West rival from the Bay Area earned the other first-place vote and had 360 points.

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News put the 49ers in the top spot.

”The 49ers can run the ball and play defense,” Gosselin said. ”With Vernon Davis, a healthy Michael Crabtree and the addition of Stevie Johnson, the 49ers should be able to pass it now as well.”

The Broncos and New England Patriots, who faced each other in the AFC championship game, followed at No. 3 and No. 4, respectively. Both AFC powers were active in the offseason trying to get an edge on the other.

After getting blown out in the Super Bowl, Denver added wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders to help out Peyton Manning, and DeMarcus Ware, Aqib Talib and T.J. Ward to bolster the defense.

”Peyton Manning isn’t going away just yet and the Broncos have enough firepower on offense and some key additions on defense to get back to the big game,” Kirwan said.

The Patriots added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to help a defense that lost key starters last season to injury.

”Tom Brady still is plenty good enough to win a championship,” Newsday’s Bob Glauber said. ”Question is whether there’s enough around him to give him a chance.”

The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints were tied for fifth.

ESPN’s Herm Edwards thinks the Packers are a strong favorite to repeat as division champions.

”A healthy Aaron Rodgers along with the running game of Eddie Lacy and the additions on defense, Julius Peppers and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, is not good for the NFC North,” Edwards said.

Alex Marvez of Foxsports.com agreed.

”This looks like Green Bay’s best roster since their Super Bowl-winning team of 2010,” he said.

The Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles, Cincinnati Bengals and San Diego Chargers rounded out the top 10.

The Bengals have made the playoffs for three consecutive seasons and lost in the first round each time. They haven’t won a playoff game since 1990, which ties for the sixth-longest streak of postseason futility in NFL history.

”The time is now for this roster, especially QB Andy Dalton.” ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold said.

Rounding out the bottom of the poll were the Cleveland Browns,, Jacksonville Jaguars and, at No. 32, the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders, who added Maurice Jones-Drew, Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley in the offseason, finished 4-12 last season.

”The Raiders have been through seven head coaches since posting their last winning record in 2002,” noted Ira Kaufman of the Tampa Tribune.

Wiggins Still a Cav..for Now

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Andrew Wiggins will sign his rookie contract with the Cavaliers. It’s still not clear if he’ll play for them.

A person familiar with the negotiations says the Cavs will sign the No. 1 overall pick to his deal, an agreement that would prevent any potential trade involving the small forward from being completed for 30 days.

Wiggins has been linked to a possible trade with Minnesota for All-Star forward Kevin Love. The person familiar with the talks says Wiggins will sign with Cleveland as early as Wednesday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on its plans.

The Cavs and Timberwolves have had ongoing discussions about a trade for Love since before Cleveland selected Wiggins first in May. The Timberwolves have always insisted that Wiggins be involved in any package, a stipulation the Cavaliers have resisted.

Last week, two people familiar with the discussions said the Cavs were still not willing to include Wiggins in a deal. It’s not yet known if the Cavs have softened their stance on Wiggins, who played well during the team’s summer league in Las Vegas.

The Cavs have considered acquiring Love and teaming him with LeBron James, who recently announced he was returning to Cleveland and signed a two-year, $42.1 million deal with the team. With Love, James and All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, Cleveland would have a “Big 3″ comparable to what Miami had in James and All-Stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

Signing Wiggins to a contract wouldn’t necessarily prevent a trade from eventually happening. Under league rules, Wiggins cannot be officially traded for 30 days after he signs. But the Timberwolves and Cavaliers could come to some sort of agreement before that and then execute the trade after the window closes.

In reality, signing Wiggins may actually make a trade easier. League rules require teams that are at or over the salary cap to exchange packages of similar dollar values when they make trades. Before Wiggins signs a deal, he has a contract worth zero, so his inclusion does not help the Cavaliers get closer to the $15.7 million value they would receive with Love’s contract.

But when he does sign, Wiggins will have a value of around $5.5 million, which would get the Cavaliers a big step closer to the 80 percent of Love’s contract that they need to reach to make any deal conform to league rules.

 

Mariners to Make a Deal???

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According to multiple reports, the Seattle Mariners have been in discussions with the Philadelphia Phillies for a trade that would send Marlon Byrd to the great northwest. The 36 year-old Byrd is having a good power year and already have 19 home runs along with 20 doubles and .266 batting average.

Mariners could use Byrd as it would be a good upgrade from long time outfielder Endy Chávez. One columnist made a report suggesting that young 20 year old outfielder Gabby Guerrero who is tearing up A ball hitting .302 with 10 homers trade would be fair for both sides. Rubin Amaro JR would help make the Phillies younger and Jack Zduriencik would help make the Mariners in their playoff push. However, Byrd has been said he is willing to waive his no trade clause if Seattle guaranteed his 8 million option for 2016, the Mariners seem unwilling.

Mariners have also been linked to David Price and Ben Zobrist. David Price is having another great season with a 3.23 ERA with his league leading 147.2 IP. Zobrist would be great piece that the mariners could use as a super utility role. Can we just imagine  for one second at the idea of a Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, David Price 1-2-3 rotation?

Mariners would be more than willing to pull the trigger and make it happen, although the rays asking price will be very high. A trade possibly including Taijuan Walker, Nick Franklin and many other key pieces.

The Seattle Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001, with only a 2.5 game lead currently over the Yankees the Mariners need to make that one trade or even multiple trades that push them over the top.