The Atlanta Braves are bringing back Marcell Ozuna, signing the slugger to a $64 million, four-year contract.
The Braves declared the arrangement for the 2020 NL grand slam and RBI pioneer on Friday night, under about fourteen days before pitchers and catchers are set to report for spring training. The contract includes a fifth-year club choice for $16 million that would take it to $80 million with a $1 million buyout, which would yield Ozuna $65 million in guaranteed money.
The Braves made the major commitment to Ozuna despite of having no confirmation there will be an assigned hitter in the NL in 2021. He prospered in the part in 2020, helping the Braves win the NL East and come quite close to progressing to the World Series. The Braves lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series in the wake of driving the series 3-1.
Ozuna’s value to the team, in the clubhouse and as arrangement insurance for 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, was significant to the group’s expectations of winning a fourth consecutive NL East title and making another run for the World Series.
Ozuna, who has played with three groups in the course of the last four seasons, said he was happy to settle down in Atlanta.
“Since I was a kid I would dream about this day,” he wrote on his Instagram account. “The day that I could call a place home. Through ups and downs I’ve maintained my faith in this moment. Today I can officially say I’M BACK!!”
The deal drew prompt endorsement from Freeman, who posted on his Twitter account “love this!! Let’s go!”
Ozuna faced a challenge on himself after the 2019 season, turning down a $17.8 million qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals, and marked a one-year, $18 million arrangement with the Braves in late January. The get paid off abundantly, as the slugger completed 6th in the National League MVP casting a ballot subsequent to driving the class with 18 homers, 56 RBIs and 145 absolute bases. He was third in the NL with a vocation best .338 batting normal and .636 slugging rate.
The wager? The $17.8 million qualifying offer by the Cardinals would’ve addressed 41% of his profession profit to that point.
While considered to some degree a cautious obligation subsequent to enduring a shoulder injury in 2018, Ozuna, who turned 30 in November, saw some activity in left field for the Braves while playing every one of the 60 games during the pandemic-abbreviated season. Nonetheless, the vast majority of his at-bats for Atlanta came as the group’s assigned hitter, opened after Freeman in the setup as the Braves won the NL East title subsequent to setting up the absolute best hostile numbers in group history.
“My power came because I’m healthy,” Ozuna said after the season. “… I just came ready and give my best to my teammates and let’s go play.”
Ozuna would open the season as Atlanta’s extended starter in left field if the DH isn’t restored.
The NL embraced the DH a year ago as a feature of baseball’s wellbeing and security conventions for playing through the pandemic. Ozuna made 39 beginnings as Atlanta’s essential DH.
Major League Baseball proposed renewing the all inclusive DH in talks with the players affiliation a week ago, yet the association dismissed the proposition, which likewise would have deferred the beginning of the normal season and extended the postseason field. It’s as yet conceivable the sides consent to reestablish the DH this year, or during exchanges for an new collective bargaining agreement after this season.
Prior to joining the Braves, Ozuna went through two seasons with the Cardinals, securing Paul Goldschmidt in the setup as they made it back to the end of the season games in 2019. In the course of the last five seasons, remembering the 60-game season for 2020, Ozuna has hit 130 grand slams, making two All-Star Games on the strength of his bat.
Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Ozuna has 357 RBIs, second just to the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (384) and only in front of Freeman (343) among National League players, as per ESPN Stats and Information research.
In eight MLB seasons, he has a .276 batting normal with 166 grand slams, 594 RBIs and 505 runs scored for the Marlins, Cardinals and Braves.
LB Jerome Baker agree to three-year, $39 million contract extension with Miami Dolphins
The Miami Dolphins have agreed to terms with linebacker Jerome Baker on a three-year contract extension worth $39 million, including $28.4 million guaranteed, his representative, Drew Rosenhaus, revealed to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The Dolphins later reported the extension however didn’t disclose financial terms.
Baker is one of the Dolphins’ defensive leaders and welcomes energy on and off the field. He represents considerable authority in pass coverage, and assisted the Dolphins with developing the most noticeably awful scoring defense (30.9 points per game allowed) in 2019 to the fifth-ranked scoring defense (21.1) in 2020.
A 2018 third-round pick, Baker was moving toward the last year of his rookie deal. He was gotten some information about his pending free agency and where he saw Miami in the image. It was a foretelling of this deal.
“I want to play here for the rest of my career. I love it here. I love the fans. I love the organization. I love everybody here,” Baker said. “Yeah, I definitely see myself playing here for a long time.”
Bread cook, 24, gets his desire, as he’s presently scheduled to remain in Miami for the following four seasons.
Presently eyes go to another of the Dolphins’ 2018 draft picks and 2022 pending free agent tight end Mike Gesicki for an potential extension.
Baker had a career-high seven sacks and seven tackles for loss last season in a new hybrid linebacker role. He also eclipsed 100 tackles (112) for the second consecutive season and still can’t seem to miss a game in his NFL career.
French Open 2021: Novak Djokovic tops Rafael Nadal to reach final match
Sprinting, sliding and stretching, anticipating each other’s moves for four sets and over four hours, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal produced a masterpiece in the French Open semifinals.
Djokovic halted Nadal’s offered for a fourteenth French Open title and gave the King of Clay simply his third loss in 108 matches at the tournament by returning to win a thrill ride of an semifinal 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (4), 6-2 at Roland Garros on Friday night.
In one more display of tremendous tennis between the rivals, the match lasted on for 4 hours, 11 minutes. In the wake of trailing 0-2 in the fourth set, Djokovic rattled off six consecutive games to avenge his loss to Nadal in last year’s final.
“Just one of these nights and matches that you will remember forever,” said the top-cultivated Djokovic, who arrived at his 6th last at the clay-court major tournament to tie Bjorn Borg for No. 2 in the occasion behind Nadal (13).
“Definitely the best match that I was part of ever in Roland Garros, for me, and (one of the) top three matches that I ever played in my entire career — considering quality of tennis, playing my biggest rival on the court where he has had so much success and has been the dominant force in the last 15-plus years. And the atmosphere, which was completely electric.”
The 34-year-old Djokovic will look for his second prize at Roland Garros and a nineteenth significant title generally speaking when he plays in Sunday’s last against fifth-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is only 22.
It will be the 29th career Grand Slam last for Djokovic, and the first for Tsitsipas, who beat Alexander Zverev in five sets in an semifinal match prior Friday.
Nadal had won the past four titles in Paris, part of his assortment of 20 Slams, attached with Roger Federer for the most by a man in tennis history.
Nadal, a 14-time winner of the French Open who turned 35 last week, fell to 105-3 in his profession at Roland Garros. His first loss came against Robin Soderling in 2009; the following against Djokovic in 2015.
“Each time you step on the court with him,” Djokovic said, “you know that you have to kind of climb Mount Everest to win against this guy here.”
Nadal and Djokovic truly riled up the group at Court Philippe Chatrier.
Halfway through the third set, Djokovic won a 23-stroke point with a forehand winner and windmilled his arms about half-dozen times, earning a standing ovation and chants of “No-vak! No-vak!” On the following point, Nadal produced a forehand winner and screamed, prompting chants of “Ra-fa! Ra-fa!” and a wave in the stands.
Nadal said the defining moment came when Djokovic saved a set point while down 6-5 in the third.
“Anything could happen in that moment,” Nadal said. “I make a double fault and then [miss on] an easy volley in the tiebreak. … These kinds of mistakes can happen. But if you want to win, you can’t make those mistakes. That is it. Well done for him. A good fight out there. I tried my best and today was not my day.”
The third set alone endured 60 minutes, 33 minutes, and a 11 p.m. nationwide curfew in time set up due to COVID-19 was drawing closer. Djokovic’s past match had been deferred over 20 minutes while the audience – limited to 5,000 individuals under Covid limitations – was gotten out of the arena, yet a declaration was made Friday to tell everybody the public authority consented to allow them to remain until the finish of the match.
Prior drones in French of “We won’t leave! We won’t leave!” were replaced by choruses of the national anthem and cheers of thanks for President Emmanuel Macron.
Nadal recovered from the dropped third-set tiebreaker to steal a break at the start of the fourth.
Neither would surrender or yield, yet Djokovic crushed spirit to 2-all and was on his way.
“Something clicked,” Djokovic said.
Nadal noted thereafter that playing in the cooler night air implied balls bounced lower, lessening the impact of his lefty forehand’s heavy topspin.
“That’s more favorable for him, the conditions,” Nadal said. “By the way, doesn’t matter. That’s tennis. The player who gets used to the conditions better is the player who deserves to win. So no doubt, he deserved to win.”
The intensity was palpable from the beginning of the evening, and Nadal zoomed to a 5-0 lead on the way to winning the main set. It was reminiscent of last year’s final, which he won 6-0, 6-2, 7-5. That was just the fourth shutout set lost by Djokovic in 341 vocation Grand Slam matches up to that point – and the first in a major final.
Nadal tumbled to 259-7 in majors in the wake of winning the first set; as per ESPN Stats and Information research. Two of those seven misfortunes presently have been to Djokovic.
There wouldn’t be another Friday, on the grounds that Djokovic made two key tactical adjustments – moving a lot further back than expected to return serve and choosing to zero in on serving toward Nadal’s strike – and quickly made clear this would be an exemplary between two of the best ever at what they do.
They defended in ways rarely seen. Tracked down the right blend of force and contact. Conjured up impossible-at-first-glance winners that nobody else would attempt, not to mention effectively utilize. Returned just as anybody, combining to generate 38 break points.
It was the 58th matchup between the opponents, more than some other two men in the game’s proficient time. Djokovic currently drives 30-28, however he trails 10-7 in Slam meetings and 7-2 at the French Open.
Djokovic won the French Open in 2016 and could join Rod Laver and Roy Emerson as the lone men to win every one of the four Grand Slam tournaments twice.
QB Sam Noyer heads to Oregon State for final season
Previous Colorado quarterback Sam Noyer will utilize his last year of qualification at Oregon State.
Noyer, who is from Beaverton, Oregon, declared his proceed onward Twitter on Friday.
Noyer tossed for 1,101 yards and six touchdowns in six beginnings last year for Colorado, which went 4-2 in the abbreviated Pac-12 season. He likewise scrambled for 208 yards and five TDs.
With the Beavers, Noyer is expected to compete with redshirt junior Tristan Gebbia and sophomore Chance Nolan.
The 6-foot-4, 220-pound QB additionally expressed gratitude toward the Buffaloes.
“From an 18-year-old kid to a 23-year-old adult, I have learned so much from this city, this institution and most importantly, this football program. I have met lifelong friends and made memories that I will cherish forever,” he wrote. “It was truly an honor to wear ‘Colorado’ across my chest.”
Noyer played at safety for the Buffaloes in 2019 preceding returning to quarterback last season.
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