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Jimmy Butler not expecting Bulls to trade him

Chicago Bulls guard/forward Jimmy Butler feels that he'll remain in Chicago past the trade deadline, unless "something crazy happens."

What It Means:

The Bulls have been fielding calls for Butler, but they don't appear to be too eager to deal their All-Star ahead of Thursday's trade deadline. If "something crazy" were to happen, it would likely involve the Boston Celtics and their coveted possession of the Brooklyn Nets' 2017 draft pick.

Butler is averaging career-highs in points (24.5), rebounds (6.3) and assists (5.0) per game this season, and he currently ranks sixth in the NBA with an 11.6 nERD. His .589 true shooting percentage is also a career-best.


nba 1 hour and 11 minutes

Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson dealing with mild calf strain

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson only suffered a mild strain in his right calf, an MRI revealed.

What It Means:

"It's not a significant [strain]," general manager Ross Atkins said Monday. "So we're optimistic that he'll be back on his feet and moving pretty quickly." The injury occurred while Donaldson was running sprints last Friday, but he should be good to go by Opening Day.

Across 700 plate appearances in 2016, Donaldson cranked 37 home runs and 99 RBI's while slashing .284/.404/.549 with a 15.6 percent walk rate and 17.0 percent strikeout rate.


mlb 1 hour and 26 minutes

Julius Thomas no longer part of Jaguars' trade for Dolphins' Branden Albert

Jacksonville Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas will not be going to the Miami Dolphins as part of the trade for offensive tackle Branden Albert, according to the Miami Herald's Armando Salguero.

What It Means:

Salguero reports that the Jaguars will now be giving up a conditional late pick in the 2018 NFL Draft as part of the trade. Albert is currently in Jacksonville meeting with the team's decision-makers, and as long as he gives his approval, expect the deal to become official within the next day or so. Despite not being part of the trade, it remains unlikely that Thomas is back in Jacksonville next season.

Thomas has been a bust during his two-year tenure with the Jaguars, recording only 76 catches for 736 yards with nine touchdowns in 21 games. Thomas averaged 0.42 Net Expected Points per target last season, finishing 29th out of the 32 tight ends with at least 50 targets.


nfl 2 hours and 20 minutes

Dolphins acquire Julius Thomas from Jaguars in separate deal

The Miami Dolphins acquired tight end Julius Thomas from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for a late-round pick in the 2017 draft.

What It Means:

This deal is independent of the Branden Albert trade, which was originally expected to be a one-for-one swap for Thomas. He turns 29 in June and is coming off two extremely disappointing years in Jacksonville, catching nine touchdowns in 21 games. The move to Miami does reunite Thomas with Adam Gase, who was the offensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos when the tight end was a fantasy stud during Peyton Manning's final glory days. Perhaps Thomas will be able to return to TE1 form now that he's in a better situation in Miami.

Thomas averaged 0.42 Net Expected Points per target last season, finishing 29th out of the 32 tight ends with at least 50 targets.


nfl 2 hours and 21 minutes

Jeurys Familia at Mets camp Monday morning

New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia returned to camp on Monday.

What It Means:

Familia wasn't at the Mets' spring training facilities over the weekend, and according to Mike Puma of the New York Post, his absence was related to Major League Baseball's ongoing investigation into a domestic violence charge from October. Assuming an eventual punishment is handed down, Addison Reed is expected to open the 2017 season as the Mets' closer.

Familia notched 51 saves for the Mets last year while twirling a 2.55 ERA and 26.2 strikeout percentage across 77 2/3 innings.


mlb 2 hours and 52 minutes

Jaguars free up $8.5 million in cap space by cutting Jared Odrick

The Jacksonville Jaguars released defensive lineman Jared Odrick.

What It Means:

Odrick has a total of 7.5 sacks over his past 38 contests and is coming off a season limited to six games due to injury, and his release opens up $8.5 million in cap space for the Jaguars, so this wasn't a difficult decision to make. Despite the lack of production, Odrick can play both inside and outside on the line, so that versatility should bode well for the 29-year-old on the open market.

The Jaguars finished last season ranked 14th in opponent-adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points per play.


nfl 3 hours and 3 minutes

Victor Cruz met with Panthers over weekend

Free agent wide receiver Victor Cruz visited the Carolina Panthers over the weekend, according to Black and Blue Review.

What It Means:

This visit comes three days after ESPN's David Newton surmised that the Panthers may have interest in Cruz. According to reporter Bill Voth, at least one other team is also interested in the veteran's services.

Among the 56 wide receivers with between 25 and 75 targets this past season, Cruz's Reception Net Expected Points per target ranked 25th.


nfl 3 hours and 21 minutes

Jorge De La Rosa signs a minor league contract with Arizona

Former Colorado Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa has signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks, which includes an invitation to spring training.

What It Means:

There had been reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates were interested in De La Rosa earlier in the off-season, but after a couple of quiet months on that front, he has landed in Arizona. He stands to earn $2.25 million if he plays in the majors this season, and this deal will give him a shot to earn a place in the opening day bullpen in Arizona.

De La Rosa had a fairly rough 2016 season, turning in a 5.51 ERA and 4.81 xFIP that were both his worst since the 2012 campaign. He finished with an 8-9 record through 27 appearances (24 starts) while turning in a 17.6 percent strikeout and 10.3 percent walk rate.


mlb 6 hours and 57 minutes

Yankees ink Jon Niese to minor league contract

Former New York Mets pitcher Jon Niese has signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the New York Yankees.

What It Means:

Niese's 2016 season was cut short when he underwent knee surgery in August, but he seems to have healed up completely, and held a bullpen session in front of 13 teams earlier this month. He has a shot at both starter and reliever roles in the Yankees' bullpen.

Niese struggled last season, turning in an 8-7 record in 29 appearances (20 starts), while posting a 16.1 percent strikeout rate and 8.7 percent walk rate -- his worst since his 2008 rookie campaign. His 5.50 ERA and 4.49 xFIP and 4.65 SIERA were also all his worst marks since 2008.


mlb 7 hours

Giants considering using franchise tag on Jason Pierre-Paul

The New York Giants may use their franchise tag on defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, per ESPN Giants reporter Jordan Raanan.

What It Means:

The Giants are reportedly keen on getting a deal with JPP done before he hits free agency, and it looks like they're set on having him stay whether they can get that deal finished in time or not.

Pierre-Paul recorded seven sacks in 12 games this past season, as well as forcing three fumbles and recovering one for a touchdown. The Giants finished second-best in opponent-adjusted Defensive Net Expected Points allowed per play.


nfl 7 hours and 2 minutes