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Friday, December 13, 2019

Stories by Grey Papke:

Blake Treinen agrees to one-year deal with Dodgers

Blake Treinen is staying in California, but he’s swapping leagues.

Treinen agreed to a one-year, $10 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, as first reportedly by Jeff Passan of ESPN.

Treinen, who had interest from other contenders, essentially gets a prove-it deal from the Dodgers. He was dominant in 2018 for the Oakland A’s, posting a 0.78 ERA while striking out 100 in 80.1 innings. He regressed significantly in 2019, seeing his ERA jump to 4.91 as his strikeouts fell and his walks rose. The Dodgers are betting that they can get him back toward something more like 2018, and it would be a huge boost to their bullpen if he can be merely elite.

Dodgers fans, show everyone who runs LA with this great T-shirt:

Le’Veon Bell explains why he went bowling despite missing game with flu

LeVeon Bell

Le’Veon Bell’s decision to go bowling on Saturday a day before sitting out a game due to the flu did not sit well with New York Jets coach Adam Gase, but the running back says he has a perfectly good reason he did what he did.

Bell said Wednesday that he’d lost 10 pounds as a result of his illness, and when doctors told him to stay active, he decided to do so by heading to a bowling alley.

Bell’s reasoning may be valid, but even if it is, he has to understand the optics problem. If you’re not healthy enough to play in a game, fans aren’t really going to buy that you’re healthy enough to be going out bowling. Gase will likely stand by his frustration with Bell and argue that perhaps he should have found some way to stay physically active at home.

Bell has been a disappointment for the Jets, with just 992 all-purpose yards in 2019. Those numbers, plus incidents like these, have helped fuel rumors that the Jets may look to get rid of him after the season.

Roger Goodell gives his take on Colin Kaepernick workout

Roger Goodell

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the league-sponsored workout for Colin Kaepernick that ultimately didn’t take place.

In a Wednesday press conference, Goodell said that he understood Kaepernick’s decision not to take part in the workout, adding that the purpose of the workout was to give Kaepernick a “credible opportunity” to get back into the league. He concluded by stating that the league has moved on.

Of course Goodell isn’t going to speak negatively about Kaepernick, especially since the league could still theoretically face legal exposure. The commissioner was reportedly heavily involved in the planning of the workout, and he would not have liked to see the PR fiasco that it turned into. It’s a diplomatic answer from Goodell, and probably the only one that he could have given — but it doesn’t sound like they’ll be granting Kaepernick any more help in the future.

Steve Addazio named head coach at Colorado State

The Colorado State Rams have named Steve Addazio as their new head coach.

The school confirmed the news Wednesday, announcing that Addazio was signing a five-year contract starting at $1.5 million per year, increasing by $50,000 a year.

According to Pat Forde of SI, Urban Meyer helped the Rams with their search process, which helps explain why Addazio got the job. Meyer and Addazio worked together at Notre Dame, and the former Boston College coach was on Meyer’s staff at Florida.

Addazio himself is 57-55 as a head coach, primarily with Boston College. He also spent two years at Temple in 2011 and 2012.

The hiring comes as a bit of a surprise, as it appeared that another ex-college coach had the inside track on the job. That didn’t pan out, and it’s Addazio who gets the nod.

Willie Taggart to become next coach at Florida Atlantic

Willie Taggart FSU

Willie Taggart has a new job, and he’s staying in Florida.

As first reported by Stadium’s Brett McMurphy and confirmed by the coach himself, Taggart will take over at Florida Atlantic, replacing Lane Kiffin.

Taggart may not have been able to do the job at Florida State, but this is a great hire for a school of FAU’s caliber. Kiffin has been very successful there and has recruited quite well for a Conference USA school, and a big name with major program experience like Taggart should be able to keep that momentum going. Plus, Taggart knows the Florida recruiting landscape well, which will also be hugely beneficial to the Owls.

Taggart is 56-62 as a head coach. He had interest in reuniting with one of his former schools, and though that didn’t work out, he still gets to stay in a familiar environment.

Report: Dodgers, Indians engaged in ‘serious’ trade talks about Francisco Lindor

Francisco Lindor

The potential of a Francisco Lindor trade appears to still be very much alive.

According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the Cleveland Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers are engaged in “serious” trade talks centered on Lindor. The Indians are seeking to acquire top prospects Gavin Lux and Dustin May as part of any deal.

Cleveland’s ask is a huge one, as Lux and May are among the top prospects in all of baseball. The Dodgers have already been turning down trade offers for Lux this offseason, and adding in May will make a deal even tougher.

It ultimately depends on how badly the Dodgers covet Lindor. The fact that their pursuit of Anthony Rendon does not appear to be going well could add to the Dodgers’ sense of urgency when it comes to acquiring a big name, and Lindor would certainly fit that bill. The shortstop hit .284 with 32 home runs last year and is one of the sport’s most exciting players. Cleveland’s prospect ask is huge, but if the Dodgers are committed to going for it, it may be worth it.

Baker Mayfield trusts Odell Beckham ‘wholeheartedly’ amid exit rumors

Baker Mayfield

Odell Beckham’s future with the Cleveland Browns appears less and less clear with each passing week, but Baker Mayfield isn’t letting it bother him.

Mayfield said Wednesday he trusts Beckham “wholeheartedly” while declining to speak on whether he believes Beckham wants to be back with the Browns in 2020.

That question about Beckham’s future is a big one. Having reportedly told opponents he wants to leave Cleveland, it’s not really clear if he wants to stick with Mayfield as badly as his quarterback appears to want to stick with Beckham. Mayfield’s efforts to defend Beckham and his production actually led to him going a bit too far and having to apologize. The quarterback is being a good teammate, but the jury is out on whether Beckham is as committed to the partnership.

Beckham has caught 59 passes for 844 yards and only two touchdowns this season.

Report: MLB unlikely to conclude Astros sign-stealing investigation by end of year

Those waiting excitedly to hear about Major League Baseball’s findings regarding the Houston Astros’ alleged sign-stealing operation are likely going to have to wait a bit longer.

According to Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich of The Athletic, the league is unlikely to conclude its investigation by the end of the year due to the amount of evidence that investigators must go through. MLB has over 70,000 emails in its possession as they investigate what the Astros were up to, and that work is likely to go into 2020.

The league is also dealing with an extended time period. While the bulk of the investigation focuses on the 2017 season, they are also trying to figure out what, if anything, was taking place in both 2018 and 2019. While there are leads relating to the 2018 season, those are said to be more sporadic.

Commissioner Rob Manfred wants a thorough investigation that will “stand the test of time,” and he knows that anything short of that will call the league’s credibility into question.

While the evidence that cheating took place is pretty clear, MLB will want to know details. They will want to deduce how prevalent it was, who was behind it, and how high up in the organization it went so the appropriate people will be hit with the appropriate punishments. That’s going to take time, even though the league will want a report done as soon as possible.